UK joins 14 other countries in global energy efficiency drive

The UK is to collaborate with 14 other countries, along with businesses and institutions, in an effort to reach a 3 per cent annual global increase in energy efficiency, by including measures in national plans and sharing expertise.

The targeted increase, up from 1.3 per cent in 2018, is to be spearheaded by the Three Percent Club, a new initiative launched by the EE Global Alliance that aims to significantly increase global momentum on energy efficiency, a critical concern since global energy efficiency progress has been slowing since 2015.

The coalition, announced this week at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, also includes Argentina, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Portugal and Senegal.

Major corporations and supporting organisations – including Danfoss, EDP, Johnson Controls, LeasePlan, Saint-Gobain, Signify, Thermo King, Trane and the Global Green Growth Initiative – have also committed to take action to significantly improve the efficiency of their own operations and to support energy efficiency policy development or implementation in countries involved in the coalition.

Jason Hartke, President, Alliance to Save Energy, states that the EE Global Alliance is thrilled to be working with leading companies and organizations from around the globe who are “stepping up” to support the ambitious commitments of the Three Percent Club countries.

“With such strong private sector involvement and collaboration with organizational partners, countries can reap all the potential of energy efficiency to combat climate change, while cost-effectively meeting their energy needs and growing their economies,” he said.

The Three Percent Club builds on International Energy Agency (IEA) research showing that the right efficiency policies could deliver over 40 per cent of the emissions cuts needed to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, without requiring new technology.

Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, says that he is proud of the IEA’s key role in creating the new initiative to enhance global energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency is the one energy resource that all countries share in abundance, and it can help reduce emissions while improving people’s well-being. Our analysis shows that we can collectively achieve much higher rates of progress, and we are delighted to see the leadership and ambition set out by these countries,” he said.

The coalition will concentrate on accelerating the deployment of available energy-efficient technology and materials in buildings, transportation, appliances, lighting and district energy. Such improvements will lower carbon emissions, reduce energy costsand air pollution, and create local jobs. Delivering on the three percent target would bring household energy savings of USD 500 billion per year by 2040.

George Oliver, Chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls, commented: “We are proud to have achieved average energy intensity improvements exceeding four percent annually since 2002 and look forward to sharing our best practices, technologies and solutions with participating countries and partners.”

Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, believes the coalition is a very good sign.

“It is incredibly encouraging to see such a broad coalition of countries, businesses and institutions joining forces to accelerate action on energy efficiency and the Paris Agreement,” he said.

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility, stated: “Energy efficiency is good for the climate and makes economic sense. The Three Percent Club provides an essential new platform for countries striving to increase their energy efficiency targets, and we are pleased to be part of this exciting new partnership.

“Building on our past investments in the SEforALLenergy efficiency accelerators covering buildings, lighting and appliances, transportation, district energy, and industrial efficiency, the GEF will continue to provide tailored financial support for developing countries in this area.”

Andrew Steer, CEO and President of World Resources Institute, added: “Energy efficiency is the stealthy hero of climate action. By increasing energy efficiency by just 3% per year, countries can save trillions of dollars for consumers and businesses, and improve people’s lives. Energy efficiency should be at the core of all countries’ national climate plans.”

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