A new World Economic Forum report developed in partnership with Accenture was presented today at the Green Solutions Event at COP16 in Cancun. The Energy Efficiency: Accelerating the Agenda report emphasizes the urgent need for energy efficiency to be at the forefront of the global agenda.
Energy demand is expected to increase by 40% by 2050. The estimated capital required to meet projected energy demand through to 2030 amount in cumulative terms to US$ 26 trillion. Of all the energy options, energy efficiency is able to provide the largest capacity for cutbacks in energy demand in the medium term. This potential can be measured in energy savings, cost savings and reduction in emissions. Research has identified that of the carbon abatement required, 57% could be achieved through implementation of energy efficiency measures by 2030.
Despite commitments to energy efficiency made to date, there is a substantial gap between policy and implementation, challenging the concept of energy efficiency as “low hanging fruit”. The Energy Efficiency: Accelerating the Agenda report sought the expertise from over 20 stakeholders across the public and private sectors to create a pulse check on where energy efficiency stands today and address solutions to bridge the gap. The report reveals reasons behind this gap range from market to institutional failures, which need to be overcome if energy efficiency is to be used to effectively meet rising energy demand, support economic development and meet the critical challenges of climate change, energy security and economic competitiveness.