US Senator Lisa Murkowski becomes newest member of Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency

US Senator Lisa Murkowski Fatih Birol

IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol (left) and Ms Lisa Murkowski, US Senator for Alaska and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Photograph: United States Senate)

WASHINGTON – United States Senator Lisa Murkowski has agreed to become an honorary member of a high-level global commission seeking to jump-start action on energy efficiency by governments around the world, the International Energy Agency announced today.

Ms Murkowski, the Chairwoman of the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, will add expertise and authority to the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency. Established earlier this year, the commission will recommend ways governments around the world can rapidly accelerate progress on energy efficiency – a key driver of economic, social and environmental benefits – through new and stronger policies.

“We are honoured that Senator Murkowski will be joining the Global Commission,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, she has been a strong advocate for action on energy efficiency and will bring invaluable experience and knowledge to the work of the Global Commission.”

Ms Murkowski’s most recent work in this field involves her bipartisan efforts to improve energy efficiency in US federal buildings.  

“I am proud to be part of a concerted global effort to encourage energy efficiency and truly appreciate Dr. Birol extending this invitation,” Ms Murkowski said. “Efficiency can make a significant difference in our lives, whether we live in big cities or remote communities, and is one of the best ways to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. It is critical that countries around the world advance reasonable policies in this area, and I commend the IEA for recognizing this as a need and an opportunity.”

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.

However, despite the massive potential of energy efficiency, the implementation and strengthening of policies has stalled worldwide. The Global Commission – which is composed of senior government figures, top business executives and energy sector thought leaders from around the world – aims to reenergise policy-making by delivering list of clear, actionable recommendations next year.

Secretary Perry and IEA Director Fatih Birol to Brief Press at the Department of Energy