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Brussels, 15 May 2007

IEA Ministerial meeting: Andris Piebalgs calls for an International Agreement on Energy Efficiency

At the Ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which is taking place on 14-15 May in Paris, Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs called for an International Agreement on Energy Efficiency. Initially this agreement would bring together OECD countries and key developing countries to agree on common approaches to saving energy. Commissioner Piebalgs said: "Climate change and energy security are global challenges that must to be tackled at a global level. If every single country in the World adopted an approach to energy efficiency, we could reduce global CO2 emissions, improve global energy security and contribute massively to economic development and the emergence of new and clean technologies. "

Energy Ministers of IEA member countries and observers met to discuss how to bridge the gap to a secure and environmentally sustainable energy future. They discussed how to improve short and long term risks to energy security, including lessons learned from the IEA emergency collective response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the current trend of under-investment in energy infrastructure as well as the role of rising energy nationalism in impeding investment and technology uptake.

The Ministers also considered the important issues of how to overcome barriers to developing and implementing energy efficiency policies and technologies in IEA member and non-member countries and how to use international frameworks to facilitate the sharing of energy efficiency information and experience.

The EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs highlighted the importance of developing a truly multi-lateral partnership for energy efficiency and called for the development of an international framework agreement. The proposed agreement would focus on promoting energy efficiency worldwide and could include various areas of cooperation such as regulatory cooperation; information exchange on energy saving strategies; methods of measurement; and research cooperation on energy efficient technologies. The G8 Gleneagles Dialogue could function as a governing board for the agreement and the IEA, which is already supporting the Gleneagles Plan of Action, could play an important role as the executive body charged with studies and monitoring of its implementation.

A technology fair was also organised in connection with the Ministerial conference with stands illustrating the potential of different technologies and steps that governments, businesses and consumers need to take to realise them.

Commissioner Piebalgs also met bilaterally with a number of counterparts from key energy partner countries to discuss issues of common interest.

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