President of Georgia joins Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency

President Salomé Zourabichvili of Georgia

President Salomé Zourabichvili of Georgia is the newest member of the energy efficiency panel, which includes government ministers, business executives and energy thought leaders. (Photograph: Georgian Presidency)

President Salomé Zourabichvili of Georgia has joined a high-level global commission that is studying how to quickly speed up energy efficiency progress through new and stronger policy action, the International Energy Agency announced today.

Ms Zourabichvili, who took office as Georgia’s President in December 2018, brings the membership of the Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency to 20, including its Honorary Chair, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland.

The new panel is composed of senior government figures, top business executives and energy sector thought leaders from around the world. It will produce a concise list of clear, actionable recommendations next year for policy actions that can be taken by countries across the globe to rapidly accelerate progress on energy efficiency.

“It is an honour to have President Zourabichvili taking part in this vital initiative,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “Energy efficiency is crucial for moving the dial in the world’s efforts to reach sustainable energy goals.”

The IEA calculates that with the right energy efficiency policies, the global economy could double in size by 2040 while still maintaining broadly the same level of energy use as today. Those policies alone would enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach international climate goals using cost-effective technologies already available, according to IEA analysis.

Before becoming President, Ms Zourabichvili served as Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2004-2005 and was elected to its parliament in 2016. She also previously worked in the French diplomatic service and for the UN Security Council. Between 2006 and 2015, she was an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, France.