Standards push the market toward higher quality, higher efficiency products, and eliminate inefficient, under-performing, or poor quality models. They help build consumer trust in more sustainable products and establish a baseline for new products on the market, creating competition among manufacturers to “beat the standard.”
If all new appliances and equipment sold in major economies used the most energy efficient technologies available, their annual saved energy would equal nearly 16 exajoules by 2030 – more than 20% of global electricity demand in 2014. A study by the ClimateWorks Foundation noted that “energy efficiency is one cornerstone of… low emission scenarios associated with keeping the global temperature increase below 2°C.”
In an effort to achieve the ambitious GHG emissions reduction targets set out by the Paris Agreement, 162 countries around the world developed Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goals, or plans to reduce their own emissions as a contribution to reducing global emissions. Over 75% of countries that set NDCs cited energy efficiency as a means to achieve their commitments. For example:
Existing appliance energy efficiency standards in 18 of the world’s largest economies are expected to save 0.5 Gt CO2e in 2030. If these same countries improved their efficiency standards to the level of best available technologies from 2010 – a technically feasible level - a further 1.5 Gt CO2e reduction is possible in 2030.