Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland will be the honorary chair of the IEA Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, consisting of government ministers, top business executives and thought leaders from around the world.
The members include current and former ministers for energy and environment from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, New Zealand and Spain. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure, and Dr. Wan Gang, the previous Chinese Minister of Science and Technology, who is known as the 'father of electric vehicles' in China, have also agreed to participate.
Mr. Richard Bruton, Ireland’s Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, will chair the commission's ongoing work. Business leaders taking part include Mr. Ben van Beurden, the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell; Ms Lisa Davis, the Chief Executive of gas and power at Siemens; and Mr. Gil Quiniones, the President of the New York Power Authority.
Energy efficiency has a central role to play in meeting global sustainable energy goals. Namely, IEA calculates that with the right policies, the global economy could double in size by 2040 while still maintaining broadly the same level of energy use as today. Those policies could allow the world to achieve over 40% of the emissions cuts necessary to reach international climate goals using cost-effective technologies already available.
However, policy implementation has reduced and efficiency progress is weak. Global energy-related CO2 emissions increased last year at their highest rate since 2013, while air pollution is still linked to millions of premature deaths each year.
It is imperative that we get global energy efficiency progress back on track. I’m delighted that Prime Minister Varadkar and other eminent figures from around the world have agreed to commit their energy and ideas to this vital project
mentioned Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director.
If countries apply all the economically viable energy efficiency potential available today, consumers could save more than half a trillion US dollars through lower energy bills by 2040, while GHG emissions, air pollution in cities and dependence on energy imports could all be decreased.