Even though energy efficiency policies alone could enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that energy efficiency policies across the globe have weakened in its Energy Efficiency 2018 report.
The annual report, which tracks global trends in energy efficiency policy, found that fewer new efficiency standards and policies were introduced in the past two years. This is especially troubling considering that global energy demand is poised to increase due to rising incomes in developing countries.
This underscores the importance, more than ever, of doubling down on energy efficiency. To quote Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of IEA, “energy efficiency could be doing much more.” The same report found that efficiency gains alone could allow the world to extract twice as much economic value from the energy it uses in 2040 compared to today.
The good news is that the investments required are not out of reach: the IEA predicts that emission cuts can be achieved by fully deploying all the technologies readily available today.