27th May 2024

Representatives from close to 70 countries from around the world gather for IEA’s flagship conference, held in Africa for the first time, to accelerate early action on energy efficiency investment and technology deployment.

At the IEA’s 9th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, held this week in Nairobi, governments from around the world gathered to discuss how to deliver their commitment to doubling energy efficiency progress agreed at COP28. The IEA revealed that, despite stronger government action to boost energy efficiency in recent years, faster action must be taken to meet the 2030 deadline.


The IEA’s Global Conference, co-hosted by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Davis Chirchir, and IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol, brought over 500 participants to the Kenyan capital from close to 70 countries. It is the first IEA Conference to be held in Africa, a sign of the Agency’s increasingly important collaboration with governments in the region in recent years.


The focus of the event was on the doubling the rate of energy efficiency by 2030 set at COP28 in Dubai. IEA analysis shows energy efficiency progress is a key milestone for limiting global warming to 1.5C by the middle of this century. Achieving it means improving the energy efficiency of the global economy by over 4% on average every year by 2030. However, IEA data reveal that the annual improvement in 2023 slowed from 2% to just over 1%. Progress has been held back by a range of factors including the year’s record heat levels, which drove up demand for air conditioning in warmer regions.


A joint Chairs’ Statement by Dr Birol and Cabinet Secretary Mr Chirchir urged “all governments to include or strengthen energy efficiency targets in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), maintaining momentum from COP28 to help meet the global goal to keep 1.5°C within reach.” The statement, released during a Ministerial Roundtable today, also encouraged “policymakers to translate ambition into implementation, drawing on the new IEA 2024 Energy Efficiency Policy Toolkit.”


Dr Birol said: “Despite the ambition demonstrated at COP28, and good progress in many countries and regions, we are not yet seeing the necessary progress on energy efficiency globally. Governments must speed up action, and the private sector must also play its part. We have seen strong progress, including from countries like Kenya, and I am grateful to Minister Chirchir for his leadership.”


Energy efficiency has been a major contributor to slowing the growth in emissions to date, with policies such as efficiency standards for buildings, cars and appliances having reduced energy bills and emissions across the world. But the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 analysis has shown that it can lead to even greater savings in energy demand, emissions and costs. It is estimated that achieving the doubling goal would lead to reductions in consumer bills in advanced economies by up to a third, as well as major savings in emerging economies. It would also result in 4.5 million more jobs in energy efficiency than today.


Cabinet Secretary Mr Chirchir said, “Kenya is working hard towards the doubling goal as part of its efforts to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. That is why the Government has put in place plans for energy efficiency and conservation, a national cooling action plan, and strategies to drive progress on clean cooking and electric mobility. As Kenya looks to drive forward its clean energy transition in the face of the global climate and energy crises, there is a growing role for energy efficiency in supporting its aims to ensure affordable, reliable access to electricity. I am very pleased to be co-hosting this important event and look forward to stronger cooperation with the International Energy Agency.”


At the conference in Nairobi, the IEA published a new Energy Efficiency Policy Toolkit, showing governments how to accelerate progress quickly through new and strengthened policies. Governments welcomed this new Toolkit as a guide on how to deliver the global commitment made at COP28. In parallel, leading businesses from across the globe joined the conference to discuss how they could work more closely with governments in support of faster efficiency progress. The resulted in the Nairobi Business Leaders’ Action Plan for Public-Private Collaboration, which was subsequently also shared with participating energy ministers. Kenyan firms had a strong voice at the business discussion, which was co-organized by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

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