A collaborative approach is absolutely critical to realizing the ambitious and comprehensive agreement reached at COP21 in Paris last year. With the energy sector worldwide representing two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is clear that one of the most essential solutions to climate change is a global transformation to clean energy. And as is highlighted throughout this publication, energy efficiency can deliver a huge portion (up to a third) of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emission reductions necessary to keep global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. As clean energy, and energy efficiency in particular, plays a critical role in addressing climate change, so does the Clean Energy Ministerial — the CEM.
The CEM is a partnership of the world’s largest and most forward-leaning economies working together to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. It’s a small and efficient group — 24 countries and the European Commission — but they’re the ones with outsized influence. Together, the CEM members account for about 90% of clean energy investments and 75% of GHG emissions. If we get it right with this relatively small group of countries, we can change the energy trajectory for the rest of the world.
The CEM is a bottom-up, voluntary, and collaborative forum with member countries proposing and working on initiatives and campaigns that help them achieve their own national clean energy goals and priorities but that also make a difference at the global level. The CEM delivers year-round and on-the ground energy-efficiency programs through multiple action-driven and transformative initiatives including:
- the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative working to engage governments and the private sector to accelerate the pace of market transformation for energy-efficient equipment and appliances;
- the Energy Management Working Group (EMWG) working to improve energy efficiency in the industrial and commercial sectors worldwide by accelerating broad use of energy management systems;
- the Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) working to accelerate the global scale-up of electric drive vehicles; and
- the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) working to catalyze markets for affordable, clean, efficient, and quality-assured off-grid appliances and equipment.
As one example of impact, the governments participating in the SEAD initiative have made significant progress implementing effective energy efficiency standards. Those standards are projected to save 704 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, 563 petajoules (PJ) of oil and gas, and more than 4 Gt of CO2 in 2030 — equivalent to roughly 235 fewer power plants and taking over 8 million cars off the road in the next 15 years.
In addition to these sustained energy-efficiency initiatives, CEM has launched multiple campaigns designed to be short-term efforts raising ambition, increasing visibility, and targeting resources to topic areas that have particular potential for impact. CEM campaigns focused on energy-efficiency include:
- the Advanced Cooling Challenge challenging governments and industry to develop and deploy at scale super-efficient, smart, climate-friendly, and affordable cooling technologies critical for prosperous and healthy societies;
- the Energy Management Campaign aiming to achieve 50,001 global ISO 50001 energy management certifications by 2020 in order to drive energy savings, cost savings, and emissions reductions in the commercial and industrial sectors; and,
- the Global Lighting Challenge challenging the world to reach cumulative global sales of 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality, and affordable advanced lighting products, such as light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, as quickly as possible.
The energy-efficient road from Paris, through Marrakesh, now requires sustained innovation, cooperation, smart policies, and global leadership for many years to come. It also requires strong international collaboration on solutions and implementation. With new energy-demand goals and commitments put forward by countries as part of the Paris Agreement, the CEM has crucial work ahead to help countries implement innovative and ambitious policies and programs to achieve those goals and to intensify them over time.
This article was originally published in IPEEC’s Energy Efficiency Magazine for COP22.