According to a statement released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Friday, even though there has been an acceleration in global progress toward energy efficiency this year as a result of high energy prices and disruptions to fuel supply, this acceleration is still insufficient to meet climate change targets. The watchdog organization with headquarters in Paris has issued a call to governments around the world to urge them to prioritize efforts to improve energy efficiency in buildings and transport. This is due to the fact that goals to reduce emissions and curb rising temperatures cannot be met by solely focusing on the expansion of renewable energy.
The chairman of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, was quoted as saying in a statement that “the oil shocks of the 1970s led to a tremendous push by governments on energy efficiency,” which resulted in “significant advances in the energy efficiency of automobiles, appliances, and buildings.” “We are seeing signals that energy efficiency is once again being prioritized in the midst of today’s energy crisis,” he said. “This is really encouraging.” According to the IEA, preliminary estimates indicate that global investments in energy efficiency would increase by 16% this year to a total of $560 billion. Some examples of energy efficiency investments are heat pumps and building insulation.
The investments have resulted in an increase of 2% in the efficiency with which energy is used this year in comparison to last year. This represents almost double the rate that has been achieved over the course of the previous five years; however, it falls short of the average of 4% per year that the IEA says is required this decade to meet its 2050 net zero emission scenario. According to the IEA, it is expected that nearly 3 million heat pumps will be sold in Europe this year. Heat pumps heat and cool buildings by using electric-powered mechanical energy rather than fossil fuels. The number of heat pumps sold in 2019 is expected to be half of what is expected to be sold this year.