The International Energy Agency held its fifth Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency yesterday, bringing together more than 40 high-level speakers, including government ministers, top CEOs, heads of international organisations and international thought leaders.
IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol opened the conference and introduced President Salomé Zourabichvili of Georgia who made remarks at the start of the first session, which focused on prioritising energy efficiency for achieving a sustainable economic recovery. The virtual conference took place over a full day, spanning timezones from East Asia to North America. It was broadcast live online, with more than 30,000 views from over 120 countries over the course of the day.
The conference put a strong emphasis on the important role that energy efficiency can play in responses to the economic crisis triggered by Covid-19 pandemic. A central feature was the launch of 10 key recommendations from the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, which called for higher ambition and faster action by governments to accelerate improvements in energy efficiency. The participants recognised the major capacity of energy efficiency to contribute to a sustainable recovery by creating large numbers of jobs, boosting economic activity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Energy efficiency is a jobs machine” said Dr Birol. “Governments are making hugely consequential decisions regarding their economic recovery plans, and energy efficiency should sit at the heart of efforts aimed at spurring economic growth while also making energy systems cleaner and more resilient.”
The full agenda of high-level speakers can be found below.
The recommendations of the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency and the insights from yesterday’s conference will be important elements informing discussions at the IEA’s Clean Energy Transitions Summit on 9 July. The Summit is the most important global event on energy and climate this year, bringing together more than 40 ministers from countries representing over 80% of global energy demand and emissions, as well as leaders from industry, the investment community and civil society.