The world needs energy efliciency, now more than ever. It is cost-effective, cross-cutting, and can benefit all individuals and communities around the world. Energy efliciency is also a key to climate action.
This is the single largest contribution to global reductions, greater even than that of renewable energy, which is also much-needed. To realize this potential, energy efliciency can benefit greatly from truly international action, and this is where the G20 and international collaboration have a big role to play.
Since 2014, energy efliciency has been one of the G20’s energy priorities. In fact, in November 2014, G20 Leaders adopted the G20 Energy Efliciency Action Plan, laying the ground for voluntary cooperation in six energy efliciency areas: appliances, buildings, industrial energy management, electricity generation, transport and cross-sectoral issues including finance. In 2016, this framework was expanded with the G20 Energy Efliciency Leading Program (EELP) – the G20’s first long-term plan for energy efliciency cooperation up to 2030. Through the EELP, G20 and other countries work together in 12 technical task groups to support and further the design, acceleration and enactment of national energy efliciency policies and programs. Countries develop technical knowledge, build capacity and engage in dialogue on topics that are in line with their national priorities and ambitions. Coordinating this work is the International Partnership for Energy Efliciency Cooperation (IPEEC), an inter-governmental platform specially dedicated to furthering energy efliciency.
At a time when international action is coming under question we must remember what cooperation can bring. Economies and climate change, individuals and businesses – all can be positively impacted by countries working more closely together on energy efliciency. This is because energy efliciency requires a set of ingredients: political willingness, special human, technical and institutional capacities, extensive data gathering and analysis, and dedicated tools and instruments such as ratings and monitoring. International cooperation can provide the first, crucial step for all this by creating the right environment for exchange and collaboration and by giving the political signal that energy efliciency is important and must be taken further. Its aim is not to replace or supersede national policies, but to support and improve them.
A good example is energy efliciency finance. In May 2017, the G20 Energy Efliciency Finance Task Group (EEFTG), co-led by the governments of France and Mexico, launched the G20 Energy Efliciency Investment Toolkit. The Toolkit outlines policy options, financing tools and current best practices from 15 G20 countries, 122 banks, over USD 4 trillion of institutional investors, and leading public financial institutions and insurance companies. The Toolkit can help increase the capital flow to energy efliciency projects and be applied to a wide range of countries. Since no single stakeholder can address the energy efliciency investment challenge alone, a collaborative framework is needed to facilitate engagement and dialogue between multiple parties; both the Toolkit and the EEFTG provide just such a framework.
Thanks to the G20’s leadership we are better placed now to make the most of the energy efliciency opportunities before us, and there may be more positive developments yet to come.
Under the G20 Presidency of Germany in 2017, countries have begun to explore how to set up a new, stronger institutional arrangement for energy efficiency at the international level. This would mean more visibility for energy efliciency and even greater cooperative action – which would be welcome indeed to give energy efliciency the place and attention it deserves in our policies for a sustainable future.
As we gather in Bonn for COP23, we must learn from past successes and recognize the continued importance of international cooperation, both for energy efliciency and wider sustainable development. After all, it is only by working together that we can achieve the transformation necessary for a more energy-eflicient and low-carbon world.
This article is based on an editorial previously published by the SDG Knowledge Hub.
The International Partnership for Energy Efliciency Cooperation (IPEEC) is an autonomous partnership of 17 major economies founded in 2009 by the G8 to promote global cooperation on energy efliciency. Its member economies together account for over 80% of global energy use and 85% of energy-related GHG emissions. Since 2014, IPEEC has been coordinating the G20’s energy efliciency activities under the group’s two plans – the G20 Energy Efliciency Action Plan (2014) and the G20 Energy Efliciency Leading Programme (2016). IPEEC is based in Paris, France.https://ipeec.org/
By Benoi LEBOT Executive Director, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC)