Global energy and climate leaders recently gathered in Denmark for a major ministerial meeting that could drive urgently needed improvements in energy efficiency, with new analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing that stronger efficiency measures can reduce energy bills, fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions quickly and significantly.
The IEA’s 7th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency in Sønderborg, Denmark, from June 7-9, brought together more than 20 ministers from countries around the world including Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Senegal, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as well as African Union commissioner for infrastructure and energy Amani Abou-Zeid and European commissioner for energy Kadri Simson. Ukrainian energy minister Herman Halushchenko addressed the conference live via video link, and decision-makers from industry, finance, international organisations and civil society also participated in the discussions.
With the world contending with its biggest energy crisis since the 1970s, the focus of the Global Conference was on how to implement measures quickly to reduce energy use, with the aim of easing cost pressures on consumers, cutting reliance on fuel imports and driving progress towards climate goals – while supporting job creation and economic growth. The new IEA analysis, published to coincide with the Global Conference, underscores the vital role of energy efficiency and energy saving in meeting today’s crises by immediately addressing the crippling impacts of the spike in energy prices, strengthening energy security and tackling climate change.
IEA Executive Director Fatih 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.”
This year’s Global Conference was jointly organised by the IEA and Denmark’s Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, with support from Danish engineering company Danfoss.