Governments eye crucial decade for energy efficiency

Australia is among 45 countries to have endorsed the goal of doubling the average global rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

In a ministerial statement released after the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 8th Global Conference on Energy Efficiency in Versailles, France, governments from across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe highlighted the critical role that energy efficiency can play in improving living standards and energy security – and in accelerating the clean energy transition toward reaching net zero emissions. This means ramping up annual energy efficiency progress from 2.2 per cent today to over 4 per cent annually by 2030. The IEA says this will create jobs, expand energy access, reduce energy bills, decrease air pollution, and diminish countries’ reliance on fossil fuel imports – among other social and economic benefits.

“This decade will be crucial for energy efficiency, with accelerated action and ambitious policy implementation are vital to addressing energy security and affordability whilst keeping us on track to achieve net zero emissions,” reads the Versailles Statement.

“The pace of global energy intensity improvements noticeably slowed in the second half of the last decade. Based on IEA analysis, there is potential for the annual energy intensity improvement rate to double from its current level, so as to ensure prosperity and sustainable economic growth and in order to be in line with global climate goals.

“Ambitious actions should be taken by every country across all sectors, taking into consideration different starting points and national circumstances, to lead to an acceleration in overall global energy-efficiency progress and to reduce energy demand, where possible. Governments should consider the implementation of effective policy packages that may include measures related to behaviour change, sufficiency measures, and technological improvements such as digitalisation and decarbonised heating. Starting with the exemplary role of the public sector, all sectors including industry, services, buildings, transport, and agriculture will have an important role to play in improving energy efficiency and driving investment.”

The full Versailles Statement is available at the IEA website.

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