New global effort on climate change targets 3% increase in energy efficiency per year

The Three Percent Club is a global coalition promoting energy efficiency policies that can achieve over 40 percent of the emissions cuts needed

September 23, 2019

A new coalition of countries, businesses and international organizations today committed to driving a three percent global increase in energy efficiency each year – a move that can help limit climate change and increase global prosperity.

Launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the Three Percent Club builds on International Energy Agency (IEA) research showing that the right efficiency policies could deliver over 40 per cent of the emissions cuts needed to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, without requiring new technology.

“Energy efficiency is the one energy resource that all countries share in abundance, and it can help reduce emissions while enhancing their peoples’ well-being. Our analysis shows that we can collectively achieve much higher rates of progress, and we are delighted to see the leadership and ambition set out by these countries.” Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA said.

Through The Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, UNEP DTU Partnership was involved in concept definition and overall coordination leading up to the launch of the 3% club. UNEP DTU Partnership was also involved in engagements with the countries that are now members of the club.

This work was done in the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency’s capacity as the hub for Energy Efficiency in the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) initiative.

Massive room for improvement

According to UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report, coordinated by UNEP DTU Partnership, the current level of climate action would lead to a global temperature rise of over 3°C this century.

Currently, only a handful of countries’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) plans under the Paris agreement include specific energy efficiency commitments, meaning that there is massive room for improvement.

The coalition will concentrate on accelerating the deployment of available energy-efficient technology and materials in buildings, transportation, appliances, lighting and district energy. Such improvements will lower carbon emissions, reduce energy costsb and air pollution, and create local jobs.

“It is incredibly encouraging to see such a broad coalition of countries, businesses and institutions joining forces to accelerate action on energy efficiency and the Paris Agreement,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme.

Immediate action

The Three Percent Club will deliver immediate action by leading countries and institutions. Participating governments are committing to use the best levers available to them to put the world on a path of three percent annual efficiency improvement. This includes incorporating specific efficiency actions and commitments in national plans or providing financial and technical support to other countries.

Corporations and supporting organizations are committing to significantly improve the efficiency of their own operations and to support energy efficiency policy development or implementation for member countries.

The new coalition has the backing of the International Energy Agency, Sustainable Energy for All, the SEforAll Energy Efficiency Accelerators and Hub, the UN Environment Programme, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Global Environment Facility, and the EE Global Alliance.


Supporting countries: Argentina, Colombia; Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia; Ghana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Portugal, Senegal, United Kingdom.

Private Sector and Supporting Organizations: Alliance to Save Energy, Danfoss, EDP – Energias de Portugal S.A., Enel, Johnson Controls, LeasePlan, Saint-Gobain, Signify, Thermo King, Trane, World Resources Institute, Global Green Growth Institute, Inter-American Development Bank.