On February 13, the Brookings Institution hosted Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), for a discussion on the need for enhanced global dialogue on energy policy, with an emphasis on energy security and climate change. With non-OECD countries such as China and India experiencing rapid growth and playing an increasingly large role in the global economy, the rise in world energy demand is expected to accelerate. Yet the extreme volatility of energy prices and the crisis in financial markets are making it difficult to plan sound long-term investments. At the same time, the climate change challenge will require a revolution in the way energy is supplied and used in the coming decades. It is clear that major developing countries must be full partners in the international effort to find solutions to these tough issues. Mr. Tanaka is calling for new ways of drawing on the IEA’s mechanisms and expertise to facilitate this much needed dialogue and to tackle energy challenges on a global basis.
Nobuo Tanaka took over as executive director of the IEA in September 2007. Prior to that, he had been director for science, technology and industry at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He was responsible for Japan’s involvement with the IEA and the G7 Energy Ministers meeting during the second oil crisis in 1979. In the late 1980s, he participated in establishing the comprehensive energy policy of Japan and he also oversaw the implementation of Japan’s international nuclear energy policy and led negotiations of bilateral nuclear agreements. Mr. Tanaka began his career in 1973 in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo.
Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, Mr. Tanaka took audience questions.