The International Energy Agency is an international energy forum comprised of 29 industrialized countries under the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD). 

The IEA was established in 1974, in the wake of the 1973-1974 oil crisis, to help its members respond to major oil supply disruptions, a role it continues to fulfill today. IEA’s mandate has expanded over time to include tracking and analyzing global key energy trends, promoting sound energy policy, and fostering multinational energy technology cooperation. As the global energy picture has changed, the IEA has sought to engage key non-members in its activities, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Morocco and accession countries Mexico and Chile. The IEA’s energy analyses, international data collection, and coordinated collective emergency response capabilities are unique and highly regarded.

Value to the United States

The United States Government values IEA’s policy analyses and data collection, coordinated collective emergency response and partnership on key projects and analysis with other international organizations and initiatives, such as the G-20/G-7, the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). 

Facilitates comprehensive energy security

  • Emphasizes the importance of and analysis on short- and longer-term issues in all key energy supply and demand sectors.
  • Maintains a robust collective security coordination mechanism (first and foremost for oil) that evolves over time in response to evolution of the global energy market.

Identifies new partners (public and private) for co-operation

  • Has multiple mechanisms that facilitate substantive interaction with partner countries.
  • Coordinates closely with other international organizations that have synergies with the IEA program of work and budget.

Facilitates technical cooperation and research

  • Serves as a convener and leader of international cooperation on energy research and technology (e.g. through Technology Collaboration Programmes - TCPs).
  • Provides the platforms and resources that facilitate access to and exchange of high quality data and expertise.

U.S. Engagement

The U.S. Department of Energy, working with the U.S. Department of State, oversees governance of the IEA and advances U.S. interests through participation in various committees that guide the IEA’s policy and programs. DOE’s Office of International Affairs (IA) leads DOE’s interaction with IEA. IA’s Assistant Secretary serves as a Vice Chair of IEA’s Governing Board (GB). The GB is responsible for overall management of the Agency, mainly through its budget and work plan. The IEA hosted a biennial meeting of the GB at the Ministerial level on November 7-8, 2017. 
Several senior-level staff from the Office of International Affairs, represent DOE at various IEA Committees including:
  • Standing Group on Long-Term Cooperation. Guides IEA analyses of country energy policies and shares best practices.
  • Committee on Energy Research and Technology.  Responsible for IEA analysis of policies for developing and marketing technologies and where the TCPs are discussed. DOE/IA is Vice Chair.
  • Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM).  Follows developments in the international oil market to help members understand and respond to changes in market conditions. Works closely with the SEQ. DOE/IA is Vice Chair.
  • Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ). Responsible for reviewing, testing, and updating IEA’s oil supply emergency policies and measures. DOE/IA is Vice Chair. 
  • Standing Group on Global Energy Dialogue. Responsible for work with non-member countries and discussion ways to enhance existing partnerships.
DOE and its national labs also engage actively in multilateral science and technology cooperation through IEA. IEA’s platform for cooperation on energy technology R&D accesses 6,000 technical experts and enables a series of Technology Collaboration Programs (a.k.a., Implementing Agreements). The United States participates in 37 of 40 TCPs.