World's Top Energy Ministers Launch Energy Efficiency Effort
June 11, 2008
The energy ministers from the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized countries and from China, India, and South Korea agreed on June 8 to establish the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC).The IPEEC will serve as a high-level forum for facilitating a broad range of actions that yield significant gains in energy efficiency. The partnership will support the on-going energy efficiency work of the participating countries and relevant international organizations by exchanging information on best practices, policies, and efforts to collect data. The IPEEC members will also develop public-private partnerships for improving energy efficiency, participate in joint research and development efforts, and facilitate the dissemination of energy-related products and services. The energy ministers plan to hold the first IPEEC meeting before the end of the year. See the IPEEC declaration (PDF 26 KB). Download Adobe Reader.
The G8, by the way, includes Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which was represented by Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. The energy ministers from this "G8 plus 3" group of countries also discussed high oil prices and a wide range of energy sources, including renewable energy. The ministers committed to "enhance vigorously" their efforts to address energy supply disruption risks, to improve energy efficiency, to promote non-conventional oil and alternative energy resources, and to diversify supply routes. They also noted that developing alternative transport and fuel technologies is essential to reduce the oil dependence of transportation throughout the world. See the DOE press release and the joint statement from the G8 plus 3 (PDF 46 KB).
The IPEEC declaration noted that energy efficiency is one of the quickest, greenest, and most cost-effective ways to address energy security and climate change while ensuring economic growth, a conclusion supported by a recent study from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report, released last week, notes that a 20% efficiency gain in the U.S. economy by 2030 could provide an estimated 800,000 net jobs while contributing to a slight increase in the nation's gross domestic product. ACEEE notes that most national energy modeling efforts fail to account for energy efficiency's contribution. According to ACEEE, if the energy efficiency resource were properly characterized by these models, the estimated costs of energy security and climate change policies would fall, while the benefits, net job creation, and consumer savings would rise. See the ACEEE press release and the full report.