IEA Executive Director Urges Public-Private Collaboration for Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency

26 November 2012: International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven has argued that closer cooperation between business and government is essential in the transition to a secure and sustainable energy future.

In an article appearing in Planet B Magazine titled “Tapping Technology and Efficiency to Secure a Clean Energy Future,” van der Hoeven underscored that renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency are indispensable for decoupling energy use and economic growth, mitigating risks to energy security from climate change, and reducing the global economy's vulnerability to disruptions in fossil fuel supply.

Van der Hoeven noted, however, that policy responses have been inadequate, citing the challenge industry faces bringing new technologies to market and the reversal of the global trend toward lower energy intensity in recent years. Overcoming this shortfall, she said, will require new market structures and incentives that both minimize interference in business decisions and ensure policy stability.

The article describes how good governance could advance these objectives through new legislative frameworks, funding mechanisms, institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms.

Looking to the climate negotiations at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha, Qatar, van der Hoeven recalled that, while local, national and regional policies are critical, international gatherings can also help. In particular, she noted the ability of international forums to remind the public and policy-makers about the global threat of climate change, and also establish rules for the credible reporting of countries' efforts to mitigate carbon emissions. [IEA Press Release]