Exploring the role of standards in unlocking energy efficiency investment

A workshop at the Global Energy Transition 2023 event brings together intersectoral energy leaders to confront challenges

June 1, 2023

In New York City on 8 June 2023, a workshop facilitated by UNEP’s United for Efficiency and UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre will explore the role of standards in unlocking energy efficiency investment and how the private sector can learn and benefit from these types of investments.

The workshop is part of the Connect Agenda at Global Energy Transition 2023 – an event bringing together energy, industrial, and government leaders to redefine intersectoral Net Zero discourse and confront the most business-critical challenges facing the industry.

A good investment

Energy efficiency is a widely available, cost-effective investment that increases competitiveness.  Yet, investments in energy efficiency have fallen short of expectations: the global annual energy intensity rate –a key measure of progress toward improving the efficiency with which energy is transformed, distributed and used– remains below the 2.6 percent goal target enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Indeed, despite the ostensibly strong business case for energy efficiency, growth in private sector energy efficiency investments remain sluggish.  This observation contrasts with the rising volume of private-sector investments in sustainability more broadly: a 15 percent increase over the period 2018-2020, to reach USD 35.3 trillion in “five major markets” in early 2020.

Standards for unlocking potential

The workshop will explore why and how ESG (environmental, social, and governance) standards can help unlock energy efficiency investment and drive the energy transition forward. Participants will discuss what is there to gain for private sectors from these investments, how market participants can establish an effective mechanism for driving up energy-efficient products and practices by incorporating energy efficiency performance metrics into existing frameworks and how efficiency-conscious ESG strategies will increase a company’s sustainability performance rating and attract investment.

It will introduce participants to UNEP resources such as the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre brief, Energy Efficiency in Green Finance Taxonomies, and United for Efficiency’s Country Savings Assessments, which show the savings potential of energy-efficient lighting, appliances and equipment, and their Model Regulation Guidelines, as examples of how energy efficient products can be specified.