U.S. Backstep on Energy Intensity and Slow Progress Globally Show Need for Stronger Policy
WASHINGTON—The Alliance to Save Energy released the following statement from President Jason Hartke in response to the International Energy Agency’s “Energy Efficiency 2019” report released Monday. The report found primary U.S. energy intensity (a measure of the energy used for each unit of GDP) worsened by .8% in 2018 while global energy intensity improved by only 1.2%. Both results are far short of the 3% annual improvement the agency says would be key to meeting the Paris Agreement climate goals.
“We know we cannot meet our climate goals without realizing the full potential of energy efficiency, which is the most effective, fastest, and cheapest solution in the toolbox. Yet this report finds that we are off track. In the U.S., where we should be demonstrating global leadership, our energy intensity has actually moved in the wrong direction. The solution is clear – we need more robust policies right now that will accelerate efficiency gains.”
“The IEA has previously shown that globally, we can achieve more than 40% of the carbon reductions needed to meet the Paris Agreement by embracing existing, cost-effective technologies to improve energy efficiency by 3% each year.”
“While weather variations and shifts in major industries can affect short-term energy intensity progress, the overall trend is clear and troubling. In fact, energy efficiency investments will be even more important as energy needs increase due to the effects of climate change.”
“We know what we need to do, but we need a course correction. This year, a group of countries, organizations, and companies committed to working together to put the world on a path to 3% annual efficiency improvement. Today’s report is a clear reminder that we need stronger policies to get there.”
The IEA report says that 2018 was the first time primary energy intensity in the U.S. worsened in more than 25 years. It says the global improvement rate in 2018 was the lowest rate since 2010.
About the Alliance to Save Energy
Founded in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy is a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders working to expand the economy while using less energy. Our mission is to promote energy productivity worldwide – including through energy efficiency – to achieve a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security, affordability, and reliability.