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Consumption, Efficiency & Limits – shaping the energy efficiency policies of tomorrow

In her latest blog, we hear from Agneta Persson, Head of Energy and Sustainable Cities at Anthesis, on the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy summer study event.

The European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (eceee) is Europe’s largest NGO dedicated to energy efficiency. Last week, it held its biannual summer study on energy efficiency in Hyeres, France – bringing together 400 energy-efficiency practitioners, mainly from Europe, but also from other continents, to explore the theme “Consumption, Efficiency, Limits”.

This year I had the privilege to be the co-chair of the conference, which included the moderation of the Thursday night plenary session “Delivering on global challenges”. The overarching question for the session was “How do we make sure the world delivers on the Paris agreement?”. Energy efficiency is a key mitigation instrument. It is also key to delivering on the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals for 2030.

The four eminent speakers, Brian Motherway (International Energy Agency), Lily Zhao (ESCO Committee of China Energy Conservation Association), Mark Draper (Danfoss) and Ernst von Weizsäcker (Club of Rome and former German minister), explored a range of topics including the market potential and profitability of energy efficiency and the Chinese experience in improving energy efficiency. All the discussions, however, were driving to answer the overarching questions of “how do we make sure the world delivers on the Paris agreement?”. A very timely question given later the same evening the Donald Trump Administration declared that the US will pull out of the Paris Agreement.

The summer study also saw discussions and presentations from myself and others, I presented “Seeing is Believing- The visualization model of multiple benefits of energy efficiency and Energy efficiency inside out”, a paper on the links between indoor air quality, energy efficiency and energy.
The events are always a great opportunity to share stories and gather inspiration with a broad range of stakeholders who are committed to the agenda, and this event was no different.

As I reflect back on the week, one that will go down as the week that Donald Trump “Rejected the Future” we left the conference with a strengthened hope on progress towards combating climate change, reinforced by the empirical evidence we heard at the conference, that energy efficiency policy delivers. Not only reduced energy demand, it creates jobs (i.e. the 650 000 new jobs created by the energy service companies), it creates healthier communities and reduces public spend on health care and can create a more resource efficient society. The determination to deliver energy efficiency, empirical evidence, knowledge, and experiences my eceee friends and colleagues show cannot be stopped.

 

To find out more about Energy efficiency and sustainable energy strategies for your business, city and country please contact Agneta Persson.

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