ICC issues guidelines to promote energy security and efficiency

  • 31 July 2007

To assist in the worldwide quest for greater energy efficiency and more secure energy supplies, ICC published two papers this month, authored by its Commission on Environment and Energy, that spell out the crucial role business will continue to play and the policies that will underpin this process.

As global demand for energy continues to grow, improved energy efficiency and international cooperation are vital. ICC believes energy efficiency makes good business sense and plays a role in boosting competitiveness.

“Business supports energy efficiency and given the right fiscal and regulatory frameworks can do more to help governments achieve the triple objectives of growth, jobs and environmental improvement,” the ICC paper on energy efficiency said. “ICC members are prepared to share experience and describe the benefits of modern energy management systems in identifying, prioritizing and implementing energy efficiency.”

To further international cooperation and ensure the necessary frameworks are put in place to improve energy efficiency, ICC recommended that policymakers follow certain key principles: tap market forces; favor an open environment for trade and investment; encourage voluntary energy labels and standards; integrate efficiency into other aspects of energy policy, including climate change, security and access; develop reliable metrics; and adopt strategies that evaluate product life cycles.

ICC also recommended that policymakers consider eight options for advancing energy efficiency, many of which involve public-private cooperation, including: developing new, clean-energy technologies that rely on voluntary initiatives and market-oriented measures, including government funding of research and development; exploiting the global potential of combined heat, cooling and power production; boosting efforts to transfer innovative technologies; reviewing building codes; educating consumers; developing energy service providers; multiplying voluntary agreements; and adopting tax incentives that spur efficiency.

In energy security, the ICC policy paper pointed out that diversity of supply, open markets and political interdependence are essential at a global level, to match the increasingly global functioning of the energy system. As a major producer, consumer, transporter and distributor of energy, business has a major role in fostering energy security.

“The most effective policies create a legal and regulatory framework that attracts investment, encourages technology transfer, stimulates open competition, and capitalizes on the force of the free markets,” the ICC paper said. “Advancements in technology will continue to improve global energy security, and will also lessen the impact of energy-related activities on the environment.”

Cooperation between business and government will also be important to providing energy security. National and international governance measures should contribute to an open global trading system in energy, energy feedstocks and energy-intensive goods, the policy statement said.