IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol has been named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time in its closely watched annual list, highlighting the growing global impact of the IEA’s work on energy and climate issues under his leadership.
The Time 100 list, announced Wednesday, is now in its 18th year and recognises the impact, innovation and achievement of the most influential individuals across the globe.
“I’m humbled. This is an honour that I share with my dedicated colleagues at the IEA who have worked so tirelessly to help the world better understand how the energy sector can lead the fight against climate change,” said Dr Birol, who has served as Executive Director of the IEA since 2015. “Whatever influence I may have, I want to use it to help countries across the globe accelerate the clean energy transition in an affordable, just and secure way to give the world a fighting chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C – possibly the greatest challenge humanity has faced.”
In an article for the Time 100 list about Dr Birol, US Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry wrote: “In a world where facts are assaulted, Fatih Birol combines the best of high-tech data, optimistic know-how and old-school rhetorical finesse. A trusted counselor to world leaders, he’s an objective authority on what it will take to slash carbon emissions and save our planet.”
Secretary Kerry added: “Birol has transformed the International Energy Agency from a body mostly monitoring oil markets into a leading adviser to the world’s major economies across the full suite of energy technologies. Building on over 10 years of analysis, this year his IEA released its first comprehensive road map for reaching global net-zero emissions by 2050 and minimizing the risk of catastrophic climate impacts. Countries including India, China, Indonesia and Colombia have all asked him to chart road maps to speed climate action and reach net-zero emissions. When we get there, and if we get there in time, trust that Fatih Birol guided the course to turn words into reality.”