Raising Energy Efficiency by 3% Annually is Key for the Climate. A New Coalition is Committing to Make it Happen.
Our most critical global challenge is stemming climate change while still enabling economic development. Driving energy efficiency at scale is the most impactful way to do this: Efficiency improvements enable countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow their economies, improve public health, and ensure energy security. And according to the International Energy Agency, energy efficiency needs to deliver more than 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
However, global implementation of energy efficiency policies is too slow to meet this need – according to the IEA, the percentage of global energy use covered by energy efficiency policies and regulations grew only 2% between 2016 and 2017. And only a few countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) include specific energy efficiency commitments.
Fortunately, a new coalition of countries, businesses and international organizations – called the Three Percent Club – committed at the UN Climate Action Summit today to drive an annual three percent global improvement in energy efficiency.
Three Percent Annual Improvements Urgently Needed and Feasible
Why three percent? A three percent annual improvement in energy efficiency (measured by global energy intensity) is the rate required to reach the Paris Agreement goals. And it’s entirely achievable using existing cost-effective technologies.
But the world is not on track. Global energy efficiency progress has been slowing since 2015, and in 2018 energy intensity improved by only 1.3%. Increasing that progress will take proactive action from governments, corporations, and organizations.
Countries, Businesses, Organizations Working Together
The Three Percent Club leverages the combined resources and expertise of the International Energy Agency, Sustainable Energy for All, the SEforAll Energy Efficiency Accelerators and Hub, the UN Environment Programme, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Global Environment Facility, and the Energy Efficiency Global Alliance (EEGA) – of which the Alliance is Secretariat.
Participating countries (see list below) commit to stronger policy action to put the world on a path of three percent annual efficiency improvement and, in turn, private sector and supporting organizations commit to significantly improve the efficiency of their own operations and to help countries meet their ambitious energy efficiency goals by engaging in projects, capacity building, and technical and financial assistance. The EE Global Alliance engages these corporations and organizations in the Three Percent Club collaboration – with the goal of connecting them with governments that are looking for private-sector project partners to scale up energy efficiency efforts. The EEGA, launched in June, comprises government, corporate, and NGO leaders who are working to increase international recognition of efficiency’s critical role as a climate solution; supporting the Three Percent Club is one of its core activities.
Building on the successful platforms developed by the SEforAll EE Accelerators, the Three Percent Club will scale up the deployment of energy-efficient policies and technologies in buildings, transportation, lighting and appliances, district energy, and industry. Not only will such improvements lower carbon emissions; they will reduce energy costs and create local jobs, helping increase global prosperity. The IEA estimates that delivering on the three percent target would bring global household energy savings of $500 billion per year by 2040.
To learn more about the EEGA and the Three Percent Club, contact EEGA@ase.org.
The Three Percent Club Countries today are: Argentina, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Portugal, Senegal, and United Kingdom.
The Three Percent Club Supporting Companies and Organizations today are: Alliance to Save Energy, Danfoss, EDP – Energias de Portugal S.A., Enel, Johnson Controls, LeasePlan, Saint-Gobain, Signify, Thermo King, Trane, World Resources Institute, Global Green Growth Institute, and Inter-American Development Bank.