Realizing the potential of energy efficiency: Targets, policies and measures for G8 countries

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Publication Date: 
01 July 2007

Over a period of eight months, the Expert Group on Energy Efficiency debated and came to consensus on a set of policy options to inform and guide G8 efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their economies. I thank the members for their vision, which ensured that the recommendations were far reaching, and their commitment, which enabled the project to meet its ambitious deadlines.

Key Points

World governments should exploit energy efficiency as their energy resource of first choice because it is the least expensive and most readily scalable option to support sustainable economic growth, enhance national security, and reduce further damage to the climate system.

This report urges the G8 nations to increase their rate of energy efficiency improvement to 2.5 percent per year (double the global average), provides a menu of proven policy options to help guide and inform national strategies, and suggests a framework for cooperation and action within the G8+5 and beyond.

Doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement would:

  • Allow the world to hold CO2 concentrations below 550 ppmv
  • Avoid $3.0 trillion worth of new generation
  • Save consumers $ 500 billion per year by 2030
  • Eliminate the same amount of energy supplied by 2,000 coal power plants o Return the globe to 2004 energy consumption levels
  • Drive business productivity improvements and new employment opportunities

For more information download the report.

Acknowledgements: An official document of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative.