IEA 2012 Annual Executive Director’s Report Emphasizes Work on Energy Security, Sustainability

IEA25 March 2013: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its Executive Director's 2012 Annual Report, a review of the organization's operational and organizational achievements and challenges over the past year. The review highlights shifts in the IEA's strategy and operations, which the Agency has undertaken to reposition itself in line with a new vision centered on energy security in support of economic prosperity and sustainability.

The new vision, spurred by a changing global energy map and new Executive Director since September 2011, was elaborated in the IEA's February 2012 Strategy Paper, which specified a number of key action items, such as: strengthening the IEA's position in global energy governance; ensuring continued value to member countries; clarifying the IEA's role in relation to other international organizations and fora; and strengthening engagement with non-member stakeholders.

The report underscores how the Agency adapted to new challenges in 2012, as a budget crisis constrained analytical and support staff, at the same time a shifting global energy landscape and upheavals like the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster and Arab Spring expanded demand for the IEA's expertise across diverse issue areas. According to the report, these growing demands on the Agency are indicative of the mounting complexities and challenges of energy supply in a globalizing world where the interactions among different fuels, markets and prices are intensifying in complex and unprecedented ways.

The report organizes these challenges according to the IEA's “4 Es”: energy security (and markets); environmental sustainability (and technology); economic development (and forecasting); and global engagement.

One step the Agency took in 2012 was the adoption of a new IEA Global Engagement Strategy, which aims to intensify co-operation with major emerging economies towards a global discussion on the shared interests and goals of major consumer and major producer countries alike. Other noteworthy outcomes in 2012 included the “World Energy Outlook” report's novel inclusion of energy efficiency as a featured fuel; “25 Bright Ideas” for individuals to reduce their energy consumption; the first edition of the IEA's renewables report; the “Energy Technology Perspectives 2012” report; and the advisory and outreach activities of the IEA Energy Technology Network.

The report also contains a section describing the Agency's functional activities that support its work on the “4 Es”, namely energy statistics; external communications; legal and support work; and personnel, building, and information technology (IT) support. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: IEA 2012 Annual Report] [IISD RS Story on IEA publication: 25 Bright Ideas] [IISD RS Story on the IEA publication: Energy Technology Perspectives 2012] [IISD RS Story on IEA publication: World Energy Outlook]