More than 250 private sector experts and public policy makers from across the globe will gather in Paris on March 16 to 17 for an international workshop on International Standards to Promote Energy Efficiency and Reduce Carbon Emissions. The workshop is jointly organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Its principal objective is to map out the most important areas where International Standards are required to support energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions.

The key technical, policy, and administrative themes pertaining to energy efficiency standardization will be discussed, with a view to reach conclusions that can be fed into relevant high-level international processes, strengthening the cooperation between public and private sector. With volatile energy prices and growing energy security and climate change pressures, the need to effectively conserve energy in all sectors of the economy has never been higher.

From 2005 onwards, the IEA energy ministerial meetings on energy and G8 summits have put energy efficiency improvement at the top of the policy agenda. This is in recognition of the key role it has to play in increasing energy security and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while enhancing economic development.

Energy efficiency gains over the last four decades have already contributed more to energy services than any single fuel. The IEA has estimated that additional energy efficiency gains have the potential to achieve approximately half the public policy objective of cutting global energy-related CO2 emissions to half of 2000 levels by 2050.

At the last 2008 G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, G8 leaders committed themselves to maximizing their implementation of 25 energy efficiency policy measures recommended by the IEA, which cover all major energy end-uses. If all economies adopted these measures, they could reduce global energy demand by 20% in 2030.

None of these measures can be implemented without technical standards to define and measure energy efficiency performance and without standardized methodologies to support the implementation of energy efficiency practices. Such technical standards are a key component underpinning all public and private sector actions to raise energy efficiency.

While much energy efficiency standardization work has already been done, a great deal still remains to cover all energy end uses and to measure energy efficiency progressions from the micro to macro level.

It is for this reason that the IEA, ISO, and IEC have combined their resources to promote the issue. They have established high-level committees to assess gaps in current energy efficiency standards portfolios, issued a joint position paper on the topic (in support of the G8 plan of action) and committed themselves to accelerate the rate of standards development in this field. For more information, visit www.iso.org.

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