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RELEASE: New global effort on climate change targets 3% increase in energy efficiency per year

NEW YORK (23 September 2019)– A new coalition of countries, businesses and international organizations today committed to driving a three percent global increase in energy efficiency each year – a move that can help limit climate change and increase global prosperity.

Launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the Three Percent Club builds on International Energy Agency (IEA) research showing that the right efficiency policies could deliver over 40 per cent of the emissions cuts needed to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, without requiring new technology.

“The IEA is pleased to be working with leading countries to enhance global energy efficiency,” said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA. “Energy efficiency is the one energy resource that all countries share in abundance, and it can help reduce emissions while enhancing their peoples’ well-being. Our analysis shows that we can collectively achieve much higher rates of progress, and we are delighted to see the leadership and ambition set out by these countries.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the Climate Action Summit to spark an immediate and much-needed increase in action on climate change. According to UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report, the current level of climate action would lead to a global temperature rise of over 3°C this century. This is far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of 1.5°C or well below 2°C, and would cause major disruption to societies and economies.

Currently, only a handful of countries’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) plans under the Paris agreement include specific energy efficiency commitments, meaning that there is massive room for improvement.

The coalition will concentrate on accelerating the deployment of available energy-efficient technology and materials in buildings, transportation, appliances, lighting and district energy. Such improvements will lower carbon emissions, reduce energy costs and air pollution, and create local jobs. Delivering on the three percent target would bring household energy savings of USD 500 billion per year by 2040.

“The EE Global Alliance is thrilled to be working with leading companies and organizations from around the globe who are stepping up to support the ambitious commitments of the Three Percent Club countries,” said Jason Hartke, President, Alliance to Save Energy. “With such strong private sector involvement and collaboration with organizational partners, countries can reap all the potential of energy efficiency to combat climate change, while cost-effectively meeting their energy needs and growing their economies.”

The Three Percent Club will deliver immediate action by leading countries and institutions. Participating governments are committing to use the best levers available to them to put the world on a path of three percent annual efficiency improvement.This includes incorporating specific efficiency actions and commitments in national plans or providing financial and technical support to other countries.

Corporations and supporting organizations are committing to significantly improve the efficiency of their own operations and to support energy efficiency policy development or implementation for member countries.

“We are excited to join with other global companies and organizations in supporting the Three Percent Club countries in achieving ambitious annual energy efficiency improvements,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. “We are proud to have achieved average energy intensity improvements exceeding four percent annually since 2002 and look forward to sharing our best practices, technologies and solutions with participating countries and partners.”

The new coalition has the backing 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 EE Global Alliance.

Additional quotes

Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme: “It is incredibly encouraging to see such a broad coalition of countries, businesses and institutions joining forces to accelerate action on energy efficiency and the Paris Agreement.”

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility: “Energy efficiency is good for the climate and makes economic sense. The Three Percent Club provides an essential new platform for countries striving to increase their energy efficiency targets, and we are pleased to be part of this exciting new partnership.  Building on our past investments in the SEforALLenergy efficiency accelerators covering buildings, lighting and appliances, transportation, district energy, and industrial efficiency, the GEF will continue to provide tailored financial support for developing countries in this area.”

Andrew Steer, CEO and President of World Resources Institute: “Energy efficiency is the stealthy hero of climate action. By increasing energy efficiency by just 3% per year, countries can save trillions of dollars for consumers and businesses, and improve people’s lives. Energy efficiency should be at the core of all countries’ national climate plans.”

Three Percent Club Countries and Supporting Companies/Organizations

Countries

  • Argentina
  • Colombia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Portugal
  • Senegal
  • United Kingdom

Private Sector and Supporting Organizations

  • 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
  • Inter-American Development Bank

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