THE council of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development founded the International Energy Agency (IEA) on November 15, 1974. Initial member countries were: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The initial documents allowed for further nations to join the IEA; as of 2007, 26 countries are members, from Europe, Asia, North America, and the South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand). Its French name is Agence Internationale de l'Energie.
There was an oil crisis 1973-74 in which the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) refused to ship oil to nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur war. Affected countries included the United States, Japan, and Western European nations. In response to the dependency of these affected countries on Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil (OAPEC is made up of the Arab nations in OPEC along with Egypt and Syria, the two major countries fighting Israel during the Yom Kippur War), the International Energy Agency (IEA) was formed.
Today, the IEA has expanded its initial goal of reducing dependence on Arab oil to include what it calls the Three E's: economic development, energy security, and environmental protection. Its motto is "Energy Security, Growth and Sustainability through
548 International Geophysical Year (IGY)
Co-operation and Outreach." The IEA, headquartered in Paris, France, has five major offices: the Executive Office, Energy Technology and Research and Development, Long-term Cooperation and Policy Analysis, Office of Global Energy Dialogue, and Oil Markets and Emergency Preparedness. A staff of 150 comes from member countries, and is made up of scientists, statisticians, and management personnel.
In September 2007, the IEA Energy Efficiency and Environment Division was awarded the International Star of Energy Efficiency by the Alliance to Save Energy. The award recognized the IEA's efforts to research and foster energy efficiency, particularly its campaign to quickly phase-out incandescent light bulbs. 2007 was the 30th anniversary of the International Star of Energy Efficiency Award.
The IEA has several Standing Committees: the Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT), the Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ), the Standing Group on Global Energy Dialogue (SGD), the Standing Group on Long-Term Cooperation (SLT), and the Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM). The CERT focuses on technology for energy efficiency, from the research of such technology to its implementation. To carry out this purpose, the CERT has four major groups: the Fusion Power Coordinating Committee, the Working Party Energy End-Use Technologies, the Working Party on Fossil Fuels, and the Working Party on Renewable Energy Technologies.
The SEQ keeps member countries prepared for oil-shortage emergencies, and continuously reviews these countries, as well as the greater IEA's, emergency plans. As several major countries are not part of the IEA, the SGD works to continue communication with these countries, including China, India, and Russia. Meanwhile, the SLT maintains communication among IEA nations; in doing so, it refers to its Working Party on Energy Efficiency.
The SOM analyzes the international oil market and integrates short- and medium-term developments to keep the IEA member nations informed and prepared in the event of another oil emergency. Frequently, the IEA hosts workshops and other events to promote education and awareness in energy efficiency. Additionally, the agency often offers press releases to keep the public informed of its activities and concerns.
Experts at the IEA provide consulting to the leaders of the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany,
Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) at the G8 summits. For example, at the 2005 Summit in Gleneagles, the G8 developed a Gle-neagles Plan of Action. This plan stressed the need for a dialogue between major energy and oil producing countries, as well as energy-consuming nations. The G8 requested the assistance of the IEA in fostering this dialogue. The six major areas covered by the Gleneagles Plan of Action are: alternative energy scenarios and strategies; carbon capture and storage; cleaner fossil fuels; energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, transport, and industry; enhanced international cooperation; and renewable energy.
SEE ALSO: Oil, Consumption of; Oil, Production of; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
BIBLIOGRAPHY. IEA and OECD, World Energy Outlook 2000: The International Energy Agency/OECD (OECD, 2001); Claude Mandil, Climate Policy Uncertainty and Investment Risk (OECD, 2007).
Claudia Winograd University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.