IEA Ministerial Stresses Climate and Energy Security Challenges

20 October 2011: The International Energy Agency (IEA) ministerial, held from 18-19 October 2011, in Paris, France, was organized around the theme “Our Energy Future: Secure, Sustainable and Together.” The event brought together energy ministers from 28 IEA member countries, seven partner countries and two accession countries.

The Chair's Summary of the ministerial notes that participants universally recognized that access to secure, sustainable energy is at the core of the long-term well being of people and the economy and that no country can achieve energy security, economic development and environmental sustainability alone. They also pledged to collaborate on more secure, diverse and robust energy systems to help avoid future crises and catastrophes.

Ministers were also briefed on the main messages of the upcoming World Energy Outlook 2011, which notes that unless significant additional action is taken, global energy demand is set to continue at a rate that will see global temperatures rising over 3.5°C, which would have dangerous consequences for humanity and the global environment. Ministers called for new and deeper analysis into possible low-carbon responses to shift patterns of energy production, trade and consumption.

This discussion was followed by talks on how to stimulate investment in oil production capacity and sustainable energy infrastructure to address geopolitical and other risks to energy security. Ministers also expressed interest in how to further encourage production of non-conventional oil and gas. It was concluded that in the short term, energy efficiency and energy savings remain the most cost effective method to address climate and energy security challenges.

Ministers also welcomed increasing cooperation with partner countries and encouraged collaboration with other international organizations.

The first day of the Ministerial also saw 35 chief executives from the IEA Energy Business Council attend a session titled  “Government and Industry: Tackling the Investment Challenge.” [IEA Ministerial Website] [Chair's Summary] [Chair's Closing Remarks] [IEA Ministerial Conclusions]