International Energy Agency (IEA) members and India Government agreed to enter into a Strategic Partnership, strengthening their collaboration across a range of vital areas including energy security and clean energy transitions.
The signing of the Framework marked a major milestone in global energy governance that could lead to eventual IEA membership for India.
The Framework was signed by Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, secretary of the Ministry of Power, representing India, and Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, on behalf of the Agency’s members.
“The signing of this agreement reaffirms and advances the invaluable relationship that IEA members and India have,” said Sahai. “Under the framework of this newly formed alliance, we will establish with the IEA the key steps for enhancing energy security and substantive cooperation across the full spectrum of IEA activities.”
“India will have a critical role in shaping the world’s energy and climate future. As the leading global authority on clean energy transitions, the IEA is the perfect partner to support India as it expands and improves its energy system for the benefit of its 1.4 billion citizens,” said Birol.
The Strategic Partnership Framework represents a new phase in the relationship between the IEA and India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, making it the first IEA Association country to take a formal step to further advance ties with the Agency. A number of IEA members expressed their support for the big step forward.
“This signing ceremony marks a milestone of deepening the successful cooperation between India and the IEA,” said Anders Ygeman, Sweden’s Minister for Energy and Digital Development.
“My deepest congratulations on the signature of the Framework for a Strategic Partnership between the International Energy Agency and the Government of India,” said Hiroshi Kajiyama, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
India joined the IEA Family as an Association country in 2017.
India is becoming increasingly influential in global energy trends. According to the IEA’s report on India’s energy policies, which was released in January 2020, the country’s demand for energy is set to grow rapidly in the coming decades, with electricity use set to increase particularly fast. The country’s reliance on fuel imports makes further improving energy security a key priority for the Indian economy.
IEA and India cooperate on a wide-variety of topics, including the expansion of renewables, energy efficiency, the energy-environment nexus, oil stocks and emergency preparedness, data, investment and innovation.
The IEA also regularly provides detailed analysis of India’s energy sector, such as a recent deep dive on decarbonising the iron and steel sector, and an upcoming World Energy Outlook special report on India.
Starting in 2015, the IEA has been opening its doors to major emerging economies that are at the centre of the global conversation on energy. Since then, eight countries have joined the IEA’s Association programme: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand. Along with the IEA’s 30 members and the three countries formally seeking accession, this expanded IEA Family now represents 75 percent of global energy demand, up from 40 percent in 2015.