Columnists: Hans Nilsson, Fourfact

Published on: 10 Dec 2012

A bell untolled

In this year’s version of World Energy Outlook, WEO 2012, IEA introduced a unique chapter on energy efficiency. Or rather on how far the profitable energy efficiency can take us towards the goal of capping global warming at 2 degrees. If we just, and only that–no fancy stuff–dared to realize the energy efficiency that pays back. The things that we, being perfectly rational, are assumed to do anyway.

The amount of energy we would save is huge and equals the amount we need to save to reach the 2 degrees goal, which in IEA’s vocabulary is called the 450 ppm scenario. The impact on emissions would however be a bit less since the mix of energy saved also to some extent is such generated by low-carbon sources. But we would reach 3 degrees without having to pay a cent, a dollar, a yen... We would rather leave this exercise being richer!

And as if that was not enough we would also manage to give an injection to a faltering world economy where the money we save will enable us to raise BNP and create new jobs in all economies. Does this not sound as something that would stop the presses? Something that should make fat headlines ? Something that should motivate editors to summon teams of reporters to cover angles and aspects of the subject? This is after all a sensational message from a very sincere messenger who is paid for by the governments.

The fact is that none of the big media in any country of the world has even lifted an eye-brow, moved a pen, pushed a key board, searched for a microphone. The silence is deafening. This is a bell untolled!

Luckily eceee is a sounding board for these extraordinary news. An eceee seminar was recently arranged in Brussels as part of the Energy Efficiency Watch project. Here, Laura Cozzi from the IEA Secretariat made a presentation and you will find both the slides and a video-version on the eceee event web page. And as a bonus you will find more presentations that underline the message and that concerns buildings, industry, member states ambitions and challenges for Europe in the same format from the same event!

It is a small enigma why media does not even allow a few lines on these issues. It could be because they are not trained to hear from the IEA in other aspects than oil-issues. If that is the case we hope–no, we demand–that the IEA continue to cover the energy efficiency issue as they did in WEO 2012 chapter 10 also in the future.

And we highly recommend that you who read this help filling in for media’s lapsus by spreading the word to all you know and may also address it to your local paper. What if Middleofnowhere Times could beat Le Monde?

The views expressed in this column are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the views of eceee or any of its members.

Other columns by Hans Nilsson