The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that progress in energy efficiency must be doubled by 2030 in order to achieve the climate targets. In this way, the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees can be kept within reach and, at the same time, the energy supply made safer and more affordable, the IEA announced at a conference in Versailles.

Accordingly, an increase in annual progress in energy efficiency from 2.2 percent today to over 4 percent by 2030 could lead to a decisive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, more energy efficiency creates jobs, reduces energy costs, air pollution and countries’ dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“Today we are seeing strong momentum in energy efficiency,” said IEA Director Fatih Birol. “Countries that account for more than 70 percent of the world’s energy consumption have introduced new or improved energy efficiency measures since the start of the global energy crisis over a year ago.” Now it’s about shifting up a gear.

“Simple Answers to the Energy and Climate Crisis”

“Energy savings and energy efficiency are the simplest and most obvious answers to the energy and climate crisis,” said France’s Energy Transition Minister Agn├Ęs Pannier-Runacher at the start of the conference. “They are one of the most important measures for a clean energy transition.” Among the participants of the three-day IEA conference are government representatives from over 30 countries and over 40 CEOs.

Policies play a crucial role in whether the world achieves energy efficiency in the short, medium and long term, the IEA said. The “RePowerEU plan” to transform the European energy system, the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides for billions in investments in climate protection and subsidies for US industry, and Japan’s Green Transformation initiative are examples of politicians making efforts to increase energy efficiency. Emerging and developing countries such as India, Chile and South Africa also implemented measures that focused on energy efficiency.

As the IEA report shows, more efficient and lower energy demand helps emerging and developing countries make faster progress towards universal access to modern and affordable energy.

The transition to efficient electrification by phasing out traditional burning of biomass such as charcoal and wood for heating and cooking also brings benefits in terms of better air quality and health.