Major nations join global plan to improve product energy efficiency

Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Nigeria have joined a collaborative initiative steered by the UK Government and the International Energy Agency (IEA) aimed at drastically improving the energy efficiency of appliances such as lighting, refrigerators and air conditioners.

Major nations join global plan to improve product energy efficiency

In total

The IEA and UK Government’s COP26 Product Efficiency Call to Action has been backed by the four major nations. The Call to Action aims to double the energy efficiency of key appliances such as lighting and cooling by 2030 in order to drive further decarbonisation in reaching net-zero.

In total, 14 countries have now signed onto the initiative, which is the largest of its kind. It focuses on four key products – lighting, refrigerators, air conditioners and industrial motor systems – which together account for over 40% of global electricity demand and emit more than five billion tonnes of carbon each year.

The governments of Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Nigeria endorsed the Joint Statement for Action on Product Efficiency and the Call to Action also forms part of the Super-efficient Appliances and Equipment Deployment (SEAD) Initiative.

“IEA analysis clearly shows the importance of energy efficiency for reaching net-zero emissions globally,” Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director said. “Policies to improve the efficiency of products have already helped halve the energy consumption of major appliances in many markets, allowing consumers to benefit from significant savings while also lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

“I welcome the commitments of the governments that have endorsed our Call to Action. We hope to see more countries joining soon and look forward to working with them all to deliver the significant economic, social and environmental benefits of energy efficiency.”

The Climate Group, which runs the EP100 initiative on improving business energy productivity, has welcomed the announcements. 

“It is crucial that we leverage the power of the world’s leading decision-makers to raise ambition in this area,” said the Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson. 

“The Climate Group, standing together with other civil society organisations, is proud to endorse the COP26 Product Efficiency Call to Action and, through our EP100 initiative, we are thrilled to be working in partnership with the UK Government to leverage support for it from the business community. In doing so, we hope to help send a powerful signal of intent to government decision-makers at COP26 in Glasgow.”

First movers

It comes on the same day that Boeing, Amazon and Volvo Group were confirmed among the members of a new coalition of businesses pledging to support the development of low-carbon technologies for hard-to-abate sectors like aviation and heavy industry, launched at COP26.

Called the First Movers Coalition, the initiative is being led by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the US Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. On the day of its launch (4 November) here in Glasgow, the Coalition has garnered the support of 29 founding member corporates across sectors including aviation, shipping, trucking, steel, cement, chemicals and aluminium.

Also represented is the direct air capture sector. Globally, the collective capacity of all operational CCS and carbon capture and usage (CCU) plants, including direct air capture, is estimated to be 38.5 million metric tonnes. These arrays are addressing less than one-thousandth of global emissions annually, which now exceed 50 billion tonnes. Proponents of CCS and CCU claim the market and installed capacity are growing rapidly, but that support from businesses needing the service is now crucial.

Other notable announcements on Energy Day at COP26 include the 190-strong coalition of countries, regions and organisations that have committed to phasing out coal generation and financing over the coming decades.

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie