IEA: Global push for energy efficiency faces pace challenge

The International Energy Agency highlights that progress is insufficient to meet climate targets, emphasising the need to double the pace of efficiency improvements this decade

Big Zero Report 2023

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has underscored the critical importance of accelerating energy efficiency improvements globally, pointing out that despite notable policy advancements, the pace is insufficient to align with climate goals.

The Energy Efficiency 2023 market report, released today, reveals a 45% growth in investments in efficiency since 2020, with three-quarters of global energy demand countries strengthening or implementing new efficiency policies in the past year.

However, the report notes a slowdown in global energy intensity improvements in 2023, partly attributed to the rebound of energy-intensive sectors post-pandemic and heightened demand for air conditioning during a record-breaking hot year.

The IEA notes that to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, annual improvements in energy efficiency must double, increasing from 2% in 2022 to over 4% on average until 2030.

Achieving the doubling target could create 4.5 million additional jobs, significantly reduce home energy bills and lower global carbon dioxide emissions by more than seven billion tonnes by 2030.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “The world’s climate ambitions hinge on our ability to make the global energy system much more efficient.

“If governments want to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach while supporting energy security, doubling energy efficiency progress this decade is critical.

“The findings of this report are a stark warning to the leaders gathering shortly at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai that they all need to commit to stronger action on efficiency and to deliver on it.”

Make sure you check out the latest Net Hero Podcast episode: