The Department of Energy announced today that U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu joined with top energy leaders from around the world to launch the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). As part of the Group of 8 (G8) Energy Ministers Meeting in Rome this weekend, G8 members and other interested countries took steps to accelerate the implementation of energy efficient measures in their economies. IPEEC signatories included members of the G8 - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and key emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the Republic of Korea.
"This partnership can help lead the world toward greater energy efficiency," Secretary Chu said. "It will facilitate greater cooperation on our shared goals: a healthier planet and a stronger global economy."
Secretary Chu arrived in Rome on Saturday as the head of the U.S. delegation to the G8 energy meeting. Over the course of the three day gathering, Energy Ministers are discussing new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies, ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and investments countries can make to grow their economies and promote global security and development.
Improving energy saving and energy efficiency is one of the quickest, greenest, and most cost-effective ways to address energy security and climate change, and ensure economic growth. To facilitate cooperation in this key area, the IPEEC will serve as a high-level forum for facilitating a broad range of actions that yield energy efficiency gains and encourage market implementation of key energy efficiency technologies.
The partnership will offer opportunities for each participating country to create green jobs domestically, while making important contributions to the global climate challenge. For example, partner nations will be able to exchange information on best practices, policies and measures for efficient building designs - energy saving designs that can be put into use all over the world creating jobs for local workers.
In the U.S., more energy is used in buildings than in any other sector of the economy. Secretary Chu has challenged Department of Energy researchers to help develop building designs that are far more efficient than current designs - and wants to pursue further research partnerships through IPEEC. The International Panel on Climate Change reported in 2007 that the world could reduce projected greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector by 30 percent by 2030 while producing a net economic benefit.
As part of the operational launch of IPEEC, participating Energy Ministers signed the IPEEC Terms of Reference. In addition, senior officials signed a Memorandum of Association with the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris to host the IPEEC Secretariat.
Partners also agreed on a set of initial tasks for the IPEEC draft work plan, including the establishment of a Sustainable Buildings Network (SBN) to promote efficiency gains in residential, commercial and industrial buildings; a compilation and summary of national energy efficiency action plans; an inventory and review of international energy efficiency initiatives; and improved methods for measuring and verifying progress towards domestic energy efficiency goals.
In 2008, top energy leaders from the G8, China, India and the Republic of Korea proposed the IPEEC partnership. Today's announcement represents the official launch of the international energy efficiency framework. The IPEEC will encourage participation by a broad range of interested countries - promoting the partnership among developing and transitional economies, as well as industrialized nations.