Eiffel Tower in Paris

In the recipe for slowing global warming, energy efficiency is a critical ingredient.

According to the International Energy Agency, improving efficiency could provide more than 40 percent of the reductions in carbon pollution pledged in the Paris Climate Agreement.

That’s if individuals, businesses, and governments around the world make full use of the efficiency technologies that already exist.

Jason Hartke is president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit urging lawmakers to prioritize energy efficiency.

Hartke: “It’s a massive part of the solution … something that we need to be doubling down on.”

Hartke: “The investment in energy efficiency I would argue is much lower than it needs to be in the face of the challenge. We’ve got a lot more to do to have our policy represent the solutions that are going to get us to the Paris Agreement.”

Committing to energy efficiency can also benefit the economy because it saves people money that they can then spend elsewhere.

For example, U.S. consumers save tens of billions of dollars each year on electricity bills as a result of efficiency standards for household appliances.

So Hartke says energy efficiency can help slow global warming and stimulate the economy.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.