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The International Energy Agency

October 28, 2016

By Paul Homewood  


IEA Logo


The IEA has been in the news recently, so perhaps it’s time we looked at what it exactly is and how it’s run.


This is what it’s website says:


Organisation and structure

What is the IEA?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous organisation that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond. Founded in response to the 1973/74 oil crisis, the initial role of the IEA was to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks to the markets. While this continues to be a key aspect of the Agency’s work, the IEA has evolved and expanded to encompass the full mix of energy resources. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative and unbiased research, statistics, analysis and recommendations.

What were the main objectives of the IEA when it was founded?

  • maintain and improve systems for coping with oil supply disruptions;
  • promote rational energy policies in a global context through co-operative relations with non-member countries, industry and other international organisations;
  • operate a permanent information system on the international oil market;
  • improve the world’s energy supply and demand structure by developing alternative energy sources and increasing the efficiency of energy use;
  • promote international collaboration on energy technology; and
  • assist in the integration of environmental and energy policies.

What is the relationship of the IEA with the OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development)?

The IEA is an autonomous body within the OECD framework.

How is the IEA funded?

The IEA is funded by its 29 member countries and the revenue it generates from its publications. The 2016 annual budget is EUR 27 461 886. Assessed contributions for member countries are based on a formula that takes account of the size of each member’s economy. For 2016, revenues from the Agency’s publications will finance more than one-fifth of the annual budget.  With the approval of the IEA Governing Board, countries and other energy stakeholders may make voluntary contributions to support and strengthen a wide range of activities in the IEA Programme of Work and Budget; in 2015, 29% of IEA spending was financed by voluntary contributions, most of which came from government sources although the Agency does receive some funding from private sources. The Agency also receives contributions in-kind, especially in the form of Staff on loan‌.

How is the budget managed?

The size of the IEA budget and the scope of its work (also known as the Programme of Work and the budget) are determined every two years by member countries. The IEA operates within the financial framework of the OECD. Independent external auditing of the Agency’s accounts and financial management is performed by a Supreme Audit Institution of a member country, appointed by the OECD Council.

Does the IEA dispense grants or make loans?

No, unlike the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the IEA does not dispense grants or make loans.

What is the role of the Governing Board?

The Governing Board is the main decision-making body of the IEA and is composed of energy ministers or their senior representatives from each member country. The Governing Board holds three to four meetings at the Director General (or equivalent) level each year, at which it discusses global energy developments, as well as recent and future of work of the Agency, with the Executive Director and other senior Secretariat staff. The outcomes of Governing Board meetings are Conclusions, binding on all member countries.

The Governing Board also has final responsibility for administrative matters of the IEA, including approving the biennial Programme of Work and the budget.

Once every two years, ministers from member countries gather for the IEA Ministerial meeting. This meeting sets broad strategic priorities for the IEA, alongside directions offered at the regular meetings of the Governing Board. Although ministers may instruct the IEA to focus on a specific issue, the direction they provide also comes through the discussions that ensue at these meetings. Through the IEA Ministerial, the Secretariat develops ideas for existing or new work programmes, which it then discusses with member countries in various IEA committees and ultimately presents to the Governing Board for approval. The outcomes of each Ministerial are not fixed; however, some sort of political statement or communiqué is issued.

The 2015 Ministerial meeting, whose first plenary session opened with Mexico’s formal declaration of interest in becoming an IEA member, led to the activation of Association status available to non-member countries (with China, Indonesia and Thailand the first to have the status) as well as member countries’ declaration of an Energy and Climate Statement. The Chair of the Ministerial, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, issued a summary at the conclusion of the meeting.


Although it claims to be autonomous, this is far from the truth. It’s members are countries, ie effectively governments.

Its Governing Board is composed of energy ministers, and the bulk of its funding comes from member governments.

It is hardly surprising then that its objectives, policies and strategies dovetail so closely with those of its member governments. As we have seen, it is quite happy to run a fervently pro-renewables agenda, even to the extent of putting out blatantly misleading press releases. 


It is also significant that member countries have to be a member of the OECD, and as the list shows are nearly all well developed countries. Also note that most are EU nations, along with Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the US.

Unsurprisingly the IEA mirrors the western world’s political viewpoint, and notably fails to protect or represent the interest of developing and third world countries. 






You are no more likely to get objective and impartial information from the IEA than you would from the EU.




  1. A C Osborn permalink
    October 28, 2016 2:12 pm

    Paul, of course you get objective information from the IEA and the EU. The trouble is it is literally their objective ie their Target and not independent data.

  2. October 28, 2016 2:26 pm

    So its a bit like like the “independent” Committee on Climate Change, which is totally dependent on the Government. Government newspeak.

  3. Athelstan permalink
    October 28, 2016 3:34 pm

    When I read the tired old line, “the IEA recommends that……”

    My brain shuts off, eyes just glaze over, for there is nothing, nothing on Gaia’s green earth which can recommend the IEA to me. Delusional propaganda is all the IEA do and on a loop, with the same old, same old tosh and barely credible pap, “the world is coming to an end and it’s all your fault!” blah, bloody, blah, blah…………………………Alinskyite tactics from the Cultural Marxists – call it the IEA, call it the DECC as was – whatever.

    Insofar as I and – I’m sure many other people across the western world would deem it and now switch off.

    The green claque; selwyn grabber robber baron deben, Richard ‘I am rich and therefore it follows, I know better than you’ Branson, Jezza, the grand mufti of Egypt, Leo de Capricious, emma Thompson, Chris Packham, Emily and David Shukman, Gary lineker, Mr blobby asTim Yeo as was, Ed Milipeed, the IEA, the IPCCC, any green NGO, bob ward, UCL, LSE, Leeds Uni, CRU, Hadley advocates division Met Off inc, Caroline whatsherface and the spud-Ed come to think of it and not forgetting Dave, al Goracle and Hansen the spacemen, NOAA, BAS, swampy + Obama add in, any member of Conmen Purpose aka ‘hope not hate’/ the lavatory party/ SWP/ Unite/BMA/BLM/UAF – they’re all the bloody same and all speak relentless green bollox with serpentine ie, forked tongues.


    • dennisambler permalink
      October 29, 2016 11:17 am

      Love it!

  4. October 28, 2016 3:40 pm

    The more you look, the more internal connections you find. Motives that make no technical sense are clear in the light of one hand washing the other.

    If the world weren’t run by egotistical members jostling each other for the best seats in the same clubhouse, we’d be safer, wealthier and much, much happier.

  5. October 28, 2016 3:54 pm

    Essay IEA Facts and Fictions documents some specific nonsense. Both IEA and EIA have to be scrubbed hard to get to useful information.

  6. markl permalink
    October 28, 2016 4:17 pm

    The IEA, UN, and EU, and the like are all fellow travelers without any governing authority that use intimidation and moral speak to push their ideology.

  7. Erl Happ permalink
    October 28, 2016 10:50 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I am constantly surprised and delighted by the breadth, depth and intensity of your activity.

    Erl Happ

    Managing Director mobile 0418744696, Skype identity:erlhapp. Blog: and

    Happs Pty Ltd

    575 Commonage Rd. Dunsborough Australia 6281

    Phone 61(0)8 9755 3300 Facsimile 61(0)8 9755 3846


  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 29, 2016 2:02 am

    The IEA offices are inside the OECD building at Rue André Pascal. Country delegation staff (diplomats) take on the day to day representation of their government’s views on IEA matters, while dedicated staff prepare analyses and statistics and draft policies in negotiation with the member diplomats. There can be tensions between countries with rather different views on energy matters and different energy endowments. US domestic “cheap oil” during the Arab embargo period was one such.

    The IEA was originally mainly concerned with security of energy supply – particularly during the Arab oil embargo. It is the body which agreed on the level of strategic oil stocks that countries should hold, and through which in an oil supply crisis/embargo, oil might be re-routed and shared out. Its monitoring of global oil supply and demand used to be rated as good as any other body that attempted it (mainly oil majors, but more recently also banks).

    It became corrupted when it got co-opted into climate scams, starting with Kyoto.

    Disclosure: I had dealings with the IEA on several occasions mainly in its pre-Kyoto years, including when they were contemplating invoking their sharing scheme after the Kuwait invasion, which we dissuaded them from doing. Perhaps after that they were also looking for a raison d’être.

  9. dennisambler permalink
    October 29, 2016 11:38 am

    OECD is firmly in the “Climate Change” and “Green Growth” camp. The Secretary General, Angel Gurria, of Mexico, wrote a foreword for the WWF 2010 Living Planet report and spoke in favour of a global carbon tax at Cancun:

    “The war against carbon emissions can be self-financing. But it starts by putting a price on carbon. If industrialised countries were to achieve the emissions reductions pledged in Copenhagen through auctioned tradable permits or carbon taxes, they could raise 1% of GDP, or USD 400 billion, by 2020. Even a fraction of this could help with the long-term financing goal.”

    (btw Athelstan, he studied at Leeds Uni)

    Their 50th anniversary conference in 2008 had a host of climate change speakers. Mr. Gurria also addressed the second Council of the Socialist International of 2010 hosted at OECD HQ in Paris in November, 2010. There were over 400 delegates from all regions of the world, “who were warmly welcomed by the Socialist Party of France.”

  10. Gerry, England permalink
    October 29, 2016 1:18 pm

    They rely on prestige to make you believe what they say. But since we are learning not to trust what those with prestige say – Remainers’ predictions of a Brexit meltdown anyone? – the first reaction should be as Paul has shown, check out who they are. Those of us who frequent WUWT will be aware of the post regarding hurricane data and the USHC. Members of USHC were allowed the chance to rebutt claims that they were ramping up hurricane strength. In the replies you will note the theme that the first instinct of many is not to trust them given the data fiddling, lies and distortion emanating from other US bodies. Very cutting comments are those asking where was USHC when Trenberth was spouting nonsense and Clinton claiming Matthew was worse because of climate change.

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