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Columbia Energy Exchange

A Global Look at the Energy Transition


Fatih Birol

Executive Director, International Energy Agency

2022 was a landmark year for the energy transition. The world added a record amount of renewable energy, expanding the global installed capacity by nearly 10%. Electric vehicles also had a record year, reaching 10 million sales worldwide, a stunning 55% increase over the previous year. Yet despite this tremendous progress, the world is still not on track to meet its climate goals, with oil and gas demand predicted to be higher in 2030 than today.

Meanwhile, volatility in global energy markets is continuing to drive uncertainty over the future of the energy transition. Imbalances between supply and demand drove energy prices to dizzying heights last year, and 75 million people around the world lost access to electricity as a result.

What will it take to bring clean energy deployment in line with climate goals? What does the energy transition mean for the future of fossil fuels? And how can world leaders protect energy reliability in the transition to net zero?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Fatih Birol. 

Fatih is the executive director of the International Energy Agency, the intergovernmental organization tasked with providing data and policy analysis regarding the global energy sector. He spent more than 20 years at the IEA prior to becoming executive director. Most recently, he served as chief economist, in charge of the organization’s flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook. Before joining the IEA, Fatih worked for OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

This episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange is a recording of a live, in-person conversation that took place on April 12th during the Columbia Global Energy Summit 2023. 

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