12/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2019 08:37
Washington, DC - A drastic reduction in global energy use will be essential for an affordable and manageable transition to a renewables-based clean energy future, according to a joint twelve-strategies report today by the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and the India-based Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. The report offers recommendations to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency.
'Urgent action is needed' the three organizations say, noting that global trends are going in the wrong direction. Global growth in energy use is largely outpacing decarbonization. In 2018, the IEA reports, the primary energy intensity - an important indicator of how much energy the global economy uses - improved by just 1.2%, the slowest rate since 2010.
This slowing rate of improvement is alarming and in stark contrast to IEA's call to governments to commit to a global annual improvement in energy intensity of 3% a year. In order to get energy efficiency progress back on track, the IEA has convened a high-level commission with senior politicians and business leaders.
'While carbon pricing and the removal of fossil-fuel subsidies are important to create a level playing field for energy efficiency, price and market signals alone are far from enough to steer the world in the right direction,' said Nils Borg, eceee's executive director.
The high-level commission thus needs to revisit energy policies and come up with concrete proposals that can deliver efficiency improvements. It is expected to deliver its recommendations in the middle of 2020.
'This can be achieved by ambitious measures on many levels, including innovation research, financial support, improved understanding of consumer behaviour and economic drivers as well as strict requirements for product, vehicle, and building performance,' says Steve Nadel, ACEEE's executive director.
Satish Kumar, president of AEEE, adds: 'Developing countries, including India, must aggressively promote a culture of energy efficiency while pursuing sustainable development goals. Energy efficiency offers the cheapest, fastest, and cleanest resource for clean energy transition while addressing the immediate and significant threats posed by climate change.'
Principles to support energy efficiency
The three organizations promote principles, including energy sufficiency and the circular economy, that support the efficiency strategies. Equally important are the multiple benefits of energy and steady work to track progress.
Energy codes and strict energy performance requirements are needed, and the paper points to the need for proper design to avoid expensive mistakes.
International knowledge transfer is an important element to quickly implement the most effective and actionable global policies.
Twelve strategies for global urgent action
The twelve strategies offer a comprehensive coverage of necessary policies to deliver efficiency around the globe. For each of the policies, the three organizations provide a brief overview of what is needed to realize that particular strategy.