IEA Stresses Inadequacy of Current Energy Policies

IEA3 December 2012: International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven has issued a statement to the 18th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in which she stresses the need to rapidly transition to a more secure, sustainable global energy system, cautioning that policies announced to date may lead to climate change of a great enough magnitude to negatively affect the world's energy infrastructure, supply and demand.

In the statement, Van der Hoeven reiterated IEA's commitment to work with government and industry to make energy infrastructure more resilient in the face of extreme weather and climate change. Over the short term, she underscored that "the IEA strongly encourages all governments to enact policies that promote the rapid deployment of energy-efficiency technologies," while implementing cost-effective and equitable strategies for retiring high-carbon emitting facilities.

Van der Hoeven also called on governments to encourage low-carbon investment and discourage the inefficient use of energy, including through the elimination of fossil fuels subsidies. Noting the importance of both mitigation and response, she stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach, stating that "all countries must be ready to respond to the climate threat against their energy supply-and-demand infrastructure without giving up on mitigation efforts." [IEA Press Release]