Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, has called for a new push for greater energy efficiency.
Speaking at the 2016 Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EEGlobal) on May 12 in Washington, D.C., Fatih Birol called for a new push on energy efficiency in his keynote address, saying that “the largest contribution to decarbonisation overall comes from energy efficiency.” Dr Birol also warned that there is a risk that in the face of low energy prices, global attention might shift away from energy efficiency, which would be a “grave mistake.”
The speech came only two days after he and the International Energy Agency (IEA) hosted the first meeting of its Energy Efficiency Industry Advisory Board (EEIAB) in Paris, which brought together leaders from 16 global companies, including China Energy Management Company Association, Energy Efficiency Services Limited of India, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Toshiba. The EEIAB is intended to advise the IEA on priorities and policies to strengthen institutional and investor action on energy efficiency, as well as providing an important perspective on what is needed to support the global energy efficiency market.
Fatih Birol’s plea also comes only a few months after the IEA published their annual energy efficiency market report, which concluded that, since 1990, energy efficiency improvements have helped avoid 870 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2014.
“Per capita energy consumption in IEA countries has dropped to levels not seen since the 1980s yet income per capita has never been higher,” the authors of the report noted. “Energy efficiency improvements over the last 25 years are the primary reason for this uncoupling of energy consumption and economic growth, and have enabled consumers in IEA countries to spend USD 5.7 trillion less on energy, while enjoying higher levels of energy service.”
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