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Global Push for Energy Efficiency Gains Traction

Despite increased policy measures promoting energy efficiency, progress remains insufficient to meet climate targets, warns the Energy Efficiency 2023 market report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Despite increased policy measures promoting energy efficiency, progress remains insufficient to meet climate targets, warns the Energy Efficiency 2023 market report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

KEY FINDINGS

  • Policy measures promoting energy efficiency expanded globally in 2023, with a 45% increase in investments since 2020.
  • Three-quarters of global energy demand is now represented by countries strengthening or introducing new energy efficiency policies.
  • Global energy intensity improvements slowed in 2023 due to economic rebounds in energy-intensive sectors and surging demand for air conditioning amid record heat.
  • To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and limit global warming to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 °C, annual energy efficiency improvements must double, reaching over 4% per year on average by 2030.
  • In 2023, global energy intensity improved by 1.3%, falling below the necessary rate.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birolemphasizes the critical need for a global commitment to doubling energy efficiency progress this decade

He issues a stark warning to leaders at the upcoming COP28 climate conference, stating that stronger action on efficiency is essential to keep the 1.5 °C goal achievable while ensuring energy security.

IEA’S FIVE PILLARS FOR COP28 SUCCESS

  • Double energy efficiency improvements this decade.
  • Triple global renewable energy capacity.
  • Oil and gas companies commit to clean energy transitions, including a 75% reduction in methane emissions.
  • Boost clean energy investment in emerging markets and developing economies.
  • Ensure the orderly decline of fossil fuel use, including a halt to new approvals of unabated coal-fired power plants.

NATIONAL EFFICIENCY GAINS

  • The European Union is on track for a 5% improvement in energy intensity in 2023 after an 8% improvement in 2022.
  • The United States is set for a 4% improvement in 2023.
  • Over 40 countries have achieved improvements of 4% or more for at least one year since the start of the crisis.

BENEFITS OF DOUBLING

  • Creation of 4.5 million more jobs through activities like retrofitting homes, installing heat pumps, and manufacturing efficient cars.
  • Reduction of home energy bills in advanced economies by around one-third.
  • Significant climate impact, lowering global carbon dioxide emissions by over 7 billion tonnes, equivalent to emissions from the entire worldwide transport sector.

The report calls for immediate and concerted efforts to drive consistent and widespread efficiency gains, highlighting the enormous benefits for governments, citizens, and industry while mitigating the impact of climate change.

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