This message comes from the findings of a report to be published next month by the WEC and the Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME), the French environment agency.

WEC secretary general, Dr Christoph Frei, said: “Over recent years there has been a general slowdown in energy efficiency improvements. The main concern is that absolute energy demand is still growing, driven by rapid non-OECD economic growth.”

The report, ‘World Energy Perspectives: Energy Efficiency Policies‘, reviews the latest energy intensity trends and analyses the policies in 85 countries representing more than 95% of global consumption. It finds that since 1990 energy productivity improvements have helped avoid 9.6 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions.

ADEME executive director of strategy and chair of the report Dr François Moisan, said: “The report finds that energy efficiency improvements over the last 20 years have resulted in significant energy savings. In 2011 these savings were equivalent to one-third of the global primary energy consumption.

“This is thanks to the energy efficiency policies and measures implemented in OECD countries, and which have spread to many others,” Dr Moisan added.

Dr Frei stressed that while the progress highlighted in the report is encouraging, not enough is being done on driving energy efficiency.

“We will need to develop new policies and strategies to meet the challenge of securing tomorrow’s energy today,” he said.

WEC and ADEME will release the report next month, with its findings informing discussions at the World Energy Congress in Korea in October.

Last month, the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) called for the British Government to streamline overlapping policies that deter energy efficiency investment and establish it as a priority in the UK’s energy debate.

The CBI argues that energy efficiency has been neglected in the wider energy debate and calls for the Government to create a coherent framework that sets out plans to engage businesses on the ground when designing, implementing and communicating policies.

Leigh Stringer

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