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Georgian president becomes a commission member of International Energy Agency

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 31
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has joined a global commission that is studying how to speed up energy efficiency progress through new policy action quickly, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced on July 30.

Zourabichvili, who took office as Georgia’s President in December 2018, brought the membership of the Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency of IEA to 20, including its Honorary Chair, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland.

IEA reports that the new panel is composed of senior government figures, top business executives, and energy sector thought leaders from around the world.

The members include current and former minister for energy and environment from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, New Zealand, and Spain.

The commission is tasked to produce a list of clear, actionable recommendations next year for policy actions that can be taken by countries across the globe to accelerate progress on energy efficiency rapidly.

“It is an honour to have President Zourabichvili taking part in this vital initiative,” IEA cited Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, as saying. “Energy efficiency is crucial for moving the dial in the world’s efforts to reach sustainable energy goals.”

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 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,” IEA says.

Before becoming a president, Zourabichvili served as Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2004-2005 and was elected to its parliament in 2016. She also previously worked in the French diplomatic service and for the UN Security Council. Between 2006 and 2015, she was an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, France, the international agency said.