Participants in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 7th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, taking place in Sonderborg in southern Denmark between June 7 and June 9, has pledged to “turbocharge energy efficiency progress to combat the energy crisis and meet the climate goals”.
“Energy efficiency is a critical solution to so many of the world’s most urgent challenges — it can simultaneously make our energy supplies more affordable, more secure and more sustainable,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Wednesday.
“The oil shocks of the 1970s set in motion major advances in efficiency, and it is utterly essential that efficiency is at the heart of the response to today’s global energy crisis.”
The gravity of the crisis is underscored by the publication of a new IEA report, timed to coincide with the global conference, which urges delegates to seek “a rapid solution to the crippling effects of the spike in energy prices, strengthening energy security and tackling climate change”.
The analysis says that a “global push on efficiency would help create 10 million additional jobs in fields ranging from building retrofits to manufacturing and transport infrastructure”.
According to Dan Jorgensen, Denmark’s Climate, Energy and Utilities Minister, the current pressure on Europe’s energy security makes energy efficiency even more important, Xinhua news agency reported.
“By saving energy, we also reduce demand. So, we are not as dependent as we used to be on fossil fuels,” he told Xinhua.
According to the IEA analysis, doubling the current global rate of energy intensity improvement to 4 per cent per year could reduce final energy consumption by 95 exajoules per year by the end of the decade. Global carbon emissions would be reduced by an additional 5 billion tonnes per year by 2030.
Jorgensen said he expected Denmark’s experiences with renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions to serve as a model for other countries.
“China is a huge country with a huge potential for growth in a sustainable way, which is also the goal of the Chinese government,” he added.
“If we in any way can help with some of our solutions, our technology, then that will be great,” he said.
This year’s global conference is jointly organised by the IEA and Denmark’s Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, with support from Danish engineering company Danfoss.
The conference is attended by nearly 25 ministers from around the world, as well as UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) President Alok Sharma, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid, and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson.