IEA’s 6th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency brings together top figures from government, industry and international organisations, providing key input to the IEA-COP26 Net Zero Summit
The International Energy Agency held its 6th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency today, bringing together high-level speakers to discuss the role energy efficiency plays in achieving ambitious climate goals and how to reverse worrying signs of stalling progress.
Participants included ministers and other senior government figures from countries and institutions including Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, the United States and the United Nations Environment Programme.
In addition to energy efficiency’s essential role in reaching climate goals, speakers at the conference emphasized its many benefits in relation to job creation, economic growth, alleviation of fuel poverty, promotion of access to energy and other important areas. A major theme echoed by leaders from business, civil society and government was the need to work together, not just across sectors, but also internationally to accelerate action together.
In his opening remarks at the conference, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol highlighted that global energy-related CO2 emissions had risen above pre-Covid pandemic levels by the end of 2020 – and that last year’s gains in energy efficiency were the slowest in a decade.
“Our analysis is very clear: In the absence of strengthening energy efficiency initiatives around the world, we have no chance whatsoever of meeting our energy and climate goals,” Dr Birol said. “We call on the governments with us today to make use of their existing efficiency policies but also to push the next generation of policies – making use of digital technologies, smart grids and other key solutions.”
During the discussions, speakers underscored the important role that super-efficient equipment – like air conditioning, lighting and industrial motors – will play in the journey to net-zero emissions. They highlighted the Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative and its role in raising ambition for energy efficiency progress worldwide.
Key themes and messages from the day’s conversations will be picked up at tomorrow’s IEA-COP26 Net-Zero Summit, which will address how to make net-zero energy systems a reality in the coming decades.