Head of IEA calls out governments for failing on energy efficiency

The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has called out governments and businesses for failing on energy efficiency in responses to the global energy crisis.

In a recent report released by the IEA, the Executive Director Faith Birol stressed how improved energy efficiency is a ‘critical solution to so many of the world’s most urgent challenges.’

New analysis by the agency showed that stronger efficiency measures could save 95 exajoules of energy per year by 2030, reducing energy bills by $650bn each year.

This could reduce global emissions by five billion tonnes each year by 2030, a third of the reduction efforts required to meet net zero by 2050, and could save approximately 30 million oil barrels per day.

white thermostat at 62

The news comes as energy and climate leaders across the world are convening in Denmark for a ministerial meeting to discuss energy efficiency in buildings, changing consumer behaviour and efficiency finance.  

Introducing the report, Mr. Birol said: ‘Energy efficiency is a critical solution to so many of the world’s most urgent challenges – it can simultaneously make our energy supplies more affordable, more secure and more sustainable. But inexplicably, government and business leaders are failing to sufficiently act on this. 

‘The oil shocks of the 1970s set in motion major advances in efficiency, and it is utterly essential that efficiency is at the heart of the response to today’s global energy crisis. The leaders meeting at the IEA Global Conference on Energy Efficiency need to make this the moment when the world hits the accelerator on efficiency – or we may fail to respond to the current energy crisis properly and pay the price for years to come.’

The IEA report cites how 2021 saw the largest ever annual increase in global CO2 emissions, more than offsetting any improvements made in 2020.

Key efficiency measures that could be put in place include the use of heat pumps, more efficient equipment, electric vehicles, turning down thermostats and changing travel patterns.

In related news, as Britons face soaring heating bills and the worst cost of living crisis in a generation, and environmental experts warn against fossil fuel projects, Rishi Sunak is told billions are being spent on the wrong energy subsidies.

Photo by Dan LeFebvre


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