IEA Chief to CEM: Achieving a More Secure, Sustainable Energy System Requires Urgent Action

24 April 2012: In an op-ed in the British newspaper The Guardian, Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), writes that "achieving a more secure, sustainable energy system, in line with the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2C, is still possible but requires urgent action by the world's major governments."Highlighting that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are at historic highs, she stresses that the world has a responsibility as well as a “golden opportunity” to act.

Underscoring progress made on renewable energy technologies, in particular on wind and solar power, she highlights, however, that more needs to be done on carbon capture and storage (CCS), vehicle-fuel efficiency, and the reduction of coal in the energy mix. Van der Hoeven also calls on the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) to encourage investment, innovation and reform in the energy sector, recommending accelerating energy innovation and public support for research, development and demonstration; unlocking the potential of energy efficiency through the implementation of IEA's 25 energy efficiency policy goals; and leveling the playing field for clean energy technologies, including through removing fossil fuel subsidies. [Publication: We Can Have Safe, Sustainable Energy] [IISD RS Summary of IEA Paper on Energy Efficiency Policy Progress]