Pumping up the volume on global energy efficiency action – The role of the Copenhagen Centre

by Tim Farrell, Senior Advisor, Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency

March 13, 2017

The multiple benefits of energy efficiency are becoming increasingly clear to governments and policy makers, and it is encouraging to see that countries are beginning to prioritise energy efficiency in the pursuit of climate change mitigation and sustainable development. The vast majority of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions submitted for the Paris Agreement feature energy efficiency actions. Certain cities have taken the lead by setting ambitious targets, adopting innovative policies, and joining city networks. From analytical studies, to industrial investments, to capacity building activities, considerable international effort has already gone into promoting energy efficiency.

However, the fact remains that much of the potential for energy efficiency improvement remains untapped, and many opportunities for win-win energy efficiency projects are being lost. To effectively mitigate climate change and realise the transition to clean and sustainable development, we need to move further and faster to accelerate energy efficiency action. How can we effectively support countries and cities raise their ambition and realise their targets and goals for energy efficiency improvement? As the Global Energy Efficiency Hub of Sustainable Energy for All, the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency aims to stimulate energy efficiency implementation in the following ways:

  • connecting committed countries, cities and districts with technology, service and finance providers who can convert their ambition into policies, projects and results.
  • matching the world’s best practices, technologies and solutions with governments who need access to such information and services.
  • creating shorter pathways to finance to activate projects that can deliver benefits on the ground.

Energy efficiency implementation happens through a myriad of partnerships with multiple actors from many disciplines, and there is a need for better coordination on the ground. The Copenhagen Centre is well placed to play a central coordinating role in targeted high-impact locations, and is doing its best to coordinate energy efficiency action wherever possible. Using our technical skills, experience and networks, we are making connections to partners such as Sustainable Energy for All’s innovative sector-based Accelerators, financiers, city networks, private sector partners, among others. Our hope is that these direct engagements will provide a model of coordination that can be replicated elsewhere.