Topic of the Day – India and International Energy Agency

India’s relationship with various inter-governmental organisations is an important part of the UPSC syllabus for International Relations segment. In this edition of ‘Topic of the Day’, you can read all about India’s membership with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and its advantages for India.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous Inter-governmental organization based in Paris, established in the framework of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1974 to help countries collectively respond to oil supply disruptions. It was established with a broad mandate on energy security and other issues about energy policy cooperation among the member countries. Long term supply, information transparency, security of supply, international energy relations, research and development were its focal points. However, today IEA has expanded and evolved to be at the heart of global dialogue on energy, examining the spectrum of energy issues to advocate policies and ensure affordability, reliability & sustainability of energy among its member countries. It has 30 member nations and only OECD nations are given membership to the IEA. All the OECD member states except for Chile, Iceland, Israel, Mexico and Slovenia are members of IEA. India became an Associate Member in 2017. In 2018, the IEA welcomed its 30th member, Mexico. The other Associate members, apart from India, are: China, Brazil, Morocco, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

India and IEA

India became an associate member of IEA in March 2017. Our country was in engagement with the IEA long before its association with the organization as an associate member. It was a party to the Declaration of Cooperation, signed in 1998, covering the matters relating to energy security and statistics. Subsequently, it had signed three Joint Statements with the IEA that covered various areas of mutual interest in the energy arena. However, the priority area for India was gas and oil security.

Benefits of the Associate Member status to India

  • The status will enhance its status and weightage in its dialogue with major oil consumer and suppliers.
  • It would provide access to India to participate in meetings of working groups, standing groups and committees that constitute the governance structure of IEA.
  • Due to IEA’s increasing role in combating climate change, it will allow India to take lead on climate and energy issues in the geopolitical platform.
  • Help India in taking forward the International Solar Alliance framework to other countries through a greater partnership with IEA.
  • India’s status will provide an opportunity for it to be the voice of developing nations.
  • Help India achieve its vision of ensuring 24×7 affordable and environment friendly ‘Power for All’ with increased engagement with IEA.
  • Enable India to set up its own robust integrated database on energy by gaining experience from IEA’s range of energy data, data gathering process and survey methodologies.

With India as an associate member, IEA now formally covers 70% of the world’s energy consumption.

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