Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Baradkar has been elected the honorary chairperson of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) newly established Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency.
The independent high-level global commission is set to examine how progress on energy efficiency can be rapidly accelerated through new and stronger policy action.
The commission will include current and former ministers of energy and environment from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, New Zealand and Spain, as well as top business executives and thought leaders from around the world.
The IEA said in a statement on Tuesday that energy efficiency has a central role to play in meeting global sustainable energy goals.
The IEA calculated 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 alone would enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emission cuts needed to reach international climate goals using cost-effective technologies already available, the agency said.
“But policy implementation has slowed and efficiency progress is weakening. Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased last year at their highest rate since 2013, and air pollution continues to be linked to millions of premature deaths each year,” the agency noted.
If countries implement all the economically viable energy efficiency potential available today, consumers around the world can save more than $500-billion through lower energy bills by 2040, while greenhouse-gas emissions, air pollution in cities and dependence on energy imports could all be reduced.
The IEA concluded the focus of the new energy efficiency commission would consider key policy actions that can be taken by countries across the world. The commission aimed to provide a concise list of clear, actionable recommendations next year.