Copper Plays a Critical Role in Energy Efficiency

According to UN Environment, 40 per cent of the objectives of the Paris Agreement can be achieved through energy efficiency. A metals association may not appear on paper to be logical partner for United for Efficiency or a proponent for energy efficiency, but the partnership between United for Efficiency and International Copper Association (ICA) is a perfect match. Copper plays a critical role in energy efficiency, as copper assures optimal performance from the conductive materials within many high-energy-using products. As the best nonprecious conductor of heat and electricity—only silver is a marginally better conductor—copper is a key component in energy-efficient products and systems.

Energy efficiency has been a cornerstone of the ICA programme portfolio for 25 years. As the cornerstone of much of ICA’s market-development work, it was a simple decision for ICA to join UN Environment and others in 2013 to form the global public-private partnership that became today’s United for Efficiency.

United for Efficiency is an ideal avenue for ICA’s expertise and copper’s capabilities. The expertise that ICA and its more than 40 global members provide is an invaluable asset to developing and emerging economies.

As ICA’s Executive Director Steve Kukoda notes, “Globally, energy efficiency continues to gain prominence—particularly when it comes to actions limiting man-made climate change. ICA and its Copper Alliance® partners provide United for Efficiency with credible experts, and United for Efficiency provides ICA with a means to expand into new geographies at minimal cost and without the need to develop in-country infrastructures. It’s a strong partnership that works.”

ICA leads outreach for United for Efficiency to ensure the partnership continues to grow and provides active support in communications’ activities for United for Efficiency, including the development of the website, In addition, ICA leads the task forces on motors and distribution transformers.

Another critical part of ICA’s energy efficiency efforts involves the regional harmonisation of standards. SHINE, a private-public partnership to promote sustainable energy equipment and appliances in the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The SHINE partnership was formed by ICA and UN Environment in 2010. SHINE has successfully helped the ASEAN to develop and adopt the area’s first regionally harmonised minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for residential air conditioners. With proof that the region could align on an energy efficiency standard, in 2016 SHINE moved to expand the scope of the initiative to include motors, distribution transformers and other products.

ICA and its members believe that energy efficiency is the key to slowing down the pace of climate change, and they are proud to serve as ambassadors of the United for Efficiency mission.

Source: United for Efficiency (U4E),