IEA report: enhancing collaboration between multilateral initiatives

IEA (2021), Enhancing collaboration between multilateral initiatives, IEA, Paris

More innovation is needed to meet global energy and climate goals. Reaching net zero by 2050 requires further rapid deployment of available technologies as well as widespread use of technologies that are not yet on the market. Major innovation and deployment efforts must occur over this decade in order to bring these new technologies to market in time. Most of the global reductions in CO2 emissions through 2030 come from technologies readily available today. But in 2050, almost half the reductions come from technologies that are currently at the demonstration or prototype phase.

International co-operation has a critical role to play in developing clean energy technologies. Making net zero emissions a reality hinges on a singular, unwavering commitment from all governments – working together with one another, and with businesses, investors and citizens. Without effective international co-operation, including for energy innovation and technology development, the transition to a low-carbon future may be delayed by decades.

There are today several established multilateral platforms that support governments in their efforts to accelerate clean energy transitions. For example, the Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP), the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI) assist governments in their aim to build global knowledge on policies and technologies, deliver joint projects and knowledge transfers around sectors and technologies. TCPs have been bringing vital contributions to energy technology development for over 40 years. Taken together, TCPs, CEM and MI currently account for over 70 collaborative initiatives covering all technologies and fuels.

There is an opportunity for multilateral initiatives for clean energy innovation to work closer together. In the last two decades, there has been a proliferation of new platforms for countries to address common energy challenges. A co-ordinated approach between these platforms can help increase their respective value added and impact, including by sharing good practice for collaboration, exploring areas for joint work and avoiding duplication.

The IEA has prepared a handbook on “Enhancing collaboration between multilateral initiatives” based on interviews with country delegates and representatives from TCPs, CEM Initiatives, MI Missions, and other multilateral platforms. It collects good practice approaches on collaboration between and among multilateral initiatives in order to accelerate, facilitate and streamline future collaborations amongst them. The handbook identifies several characteristics that are commonly shared by successful collaborations and six recommendations for action to facilitate inter-initiative collaboration.