NEWS AP: Leaders gather in Paris to accelerate wringing more out of every ounce of fuel


For the orig­i­nal, click here.

As 30 energy envi­ron­ment and trade min­is­ters plus 50 CEOs assem­ble in Paris for the 8th inter­na­tional con­fer­ence on energy effi­ciency, the Inter­na­tional Energy Agency is urgently call­ing for greater invest­ment in energy effi­ciency for fac­to­ries, cars and appli­ances to meet inter­na­tional cli­mate goals.

The agency touted recent global progress: A The new IEA report released Wednes­day says that demand for energy is grow­ing, yet emis­sions are not grow­ing as fast. Effi­ciency is increas­ing every year as tech­nol­ogy improves, and last year that increase was twice the aver­age of the pre­vi­ous five years.

We’re at a real junc­ture where more effi­cient, more clean, more afford­able tech­nol­ogy is start­ing to dom­i­nate,” said Brian Moth­er­way, chief of energy effi­ciency at the IEA, dur­ing a press con­fer­ence Tuesday.

Elim­i­nat­ing wasted energy is the most afford­able way to bring goods and ser­vices to the peo­ple who need them — while slow­ing green­house gas emis­sions — the main dri­ver of global warm­ing, energy experts say.

Gov­ern­ment poli­cies that encour­age energy effi­ciency are dri­ving the trend. Japan has strength­ened laws that favor energy effi­cient build­ings. The Euro­pean Union agreed this year to reduce its total energy con­sump­tion by some 12% com­pared to its 2020 fore­cast, by improv­ing build­ings, heavy indus­try and pri­vate trans­porta­tion. The United States allo­cated a record 95 bil­lion dol­lars over ten years through the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act to increase energy effi­ciency in power gen­er­a­tion, build­ings and cars. And India passed impor­tant leg­is­la­tion to decrease the amount of energy used by homes.

Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives are crit­i­cal because they get big build­ings, they get big hous­ing projects, they get indus­try (and) they have to take it seri­ously,” said Daniel Kam­men, a pro­fes­sor of energy at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley who was not involved in the IEA report.

Accord­ing to the report, total pub­lic and pri­vate invest­ment in energy effi­ciency increased by 15% in 2022 to $600 bil­lion from the pre­vi­ous year. This year, invest­ment is expected to grow by only 4%, which Moth­er­way called concerning.

To limit global warm­ing to just 1.5 degrees Cel­sius (2.7 degrees Fahren­heit) and avoid severe cli­mate dis­rup­tion, the world needs to dou­ble energy effi­ciency for the rest of the decade. Annual invest­ment of $1.8 tril­lion is needed to make that hap­pen, the report says.

The tech­nol­ogy exists, we just need to pri­or­i­tiz­ing spend­ing, Philippe Delorme, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Europe oper­a­tions for Schnei­der Elec­tric said in a press conference.

Experts not involved in the report agreed. “Gov­ern­ments should be doing more, whether that relates to appli­ance effi­ciency, cars or build­ings,” said Steven Nadel, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Amer­i­can Coun­cil for an Energy-​​Efficient Economy.

As far as growth in demand, elec­tric­ity saw the most growth, with oil and coal just behind. Demand for nat­ural gas saw an over­all decline.

Elec­tric vehi­cles and heat pumps grew in pop­u­lar­ity last year, adding to the demand for elec­tric­ity. Heat pumps effi­ciently wring energy out of the air, or more occa­sion­ally, the ground, and they pump heat either into or out of a build­ing depend­ing whether they are heat­ing or air con­di­tion­ing. Their sales increased ten per­cent glob­ally and nearly 40 per­cent in Europe last year. Elec­tric vehi­cles sales also grew, now mak­ing up 14 per­cent of all new car sales, and are on track for 18 per­cent of the new car mar­ket this year.

In many places, elec­tric­ity to heat homes and power vehi­cles still relies on fos­sil fuel energy that burns car­bon. But as util­i­ties build out more renew­able energy, emis­sions decline. That same progress is not built into gasoline-​​burning cars or homes that burn nat­ural gas for cook­ing and heat­ing. They will con­tinue to com­bust hydro­car­bons and release car­bon dioxide.

Some of the recent inter­est in energy effi­ciency world­wide has been influ­enced by fears of a global energy short­age caused by Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine.

Philippe Benoit, a researcher at the Cen­ter on Global Energy Pol­icy at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity, said that in order to meet cli­mate goals, money needs to go into bet­ter energy effi­ciency even when there is no fear of energy scarcity.

The great­est inter­est in energy effi­ciency is often trig­gered by an energy sup­ply con­cern,” he said. “We need to get to the point where with­out even a poten­tial energy sup­ply cri­sis, that gov­ern­ments, house­holds and busi­nesses are increas­ing their invest­ment in energy effi­ciency. That’s what our cli­mate goal requires.”


Peter­son reported from Den­ver. Cost­ley reported from Wash­ing­ton, DC.


The Asso­ci­ated Press receives sup­port from mul­ti­ple foun­da­tion for cov­er­age of cli­mate and envi­ron­men­tal pol­icy. The AP is solely respon­si­ble for all con­tent. For all of AP’s envi­ron­men­tal cov­er­age, visit https://​apnews​.com/​h​u​b​/​c​l​i​m​a​t​e​-​a​n​d​-​e​n​v​i​r​o​n​m​ent

Orig­i­nal arti­cle link:


Link to the IEA report:


Link to the paper used for the first fig­ure in the IEA analysis:

Screenshot 2023-06-07 at 7.53.17 AM

Amory B. Lovins, Diana Ürge-​​Vorsatz, Luis Mundaca, Daniel M Kam­men, and Joa­cob W Glass­man (2019) “Recal­i­brat­ing cli­mate prospects”, Envi­ron­men­tal Research Let­ters, 14 (12).–9326/ab55ab

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