The International Energy Agency (IEA) held a webinar on Thursday dedicated to addressing the gender dimensions of clean energy transitions. This has raised some concerns about the politicized direction the influential agency has taken in recent years.
"Clean energy transition programs and policies can impact men and women differently," the announcement on the webinar said. "For instance, integrating a gender lens in the design of public transport or appliance energy efficiency programs can lead to better outcomes, such as improving safety and accessibility for women users."
The Paris-based IEA is an intergovernmental organization that provides energy policy recommendations, analysis and data on the global energy sector. The agency is composed of 31 member countries, including the United States, and 11 associated countries, and many countries' green energy policies are influenced by the information the agency provides.
David Blackmon, a longtime energy analyst and writer, posted the announcement for the webinar on his "Energy Transition Absurdities" Substack.
"I swear I do not make this stuff up, folks. Who in their right mind could ever possibly even imagine doing that?" Blackmon wrote.
Blackmon told Cowboy State Daily that the organization still produces some good data, but some of the agency's work is "obviously motivated by politics."
He said this political bias has impacted the quality of some of the data and analysis the organization provides. For example, the IEA has regularly underestimated global energy demand for several years now.
"To me, that just indicates a general wishful thinking mindset, which advocates for a lower of all demand globally. And that just isn't happening," Blackmon said.
Steve Milloy, an adjunct analyst with Competitive Enterprise Institute who served on the EPA transition team for the Trump administration, told Cowboy State Daily the organization used to have a more impartial purpose, and it just reported useful facts about energy.
"A couple years ago, they came under severe criticism from the climate idiocy community. They have since bowed down. Now they report everything from the perspective of climate versus the perspective of energy," Milloy said.
Milloy said most of the IEA's reports glorify renewable energy developments and worry about emissions levels. He said there are some useful reports and analysis coming from the IEA, but you have to dig through a lot of nonsense to find it.
As for a webinar exploring questions about how an energy transition impacts men and women differently, Milloy said he wasn't surprised.
"It's supposed to be a respectable organization. Now, It's just another activist group as far as I can tell," Milloy said.
The goal of the webinar, as stated in the announcement was to ensure women's engagement as decision makers, which helps create clean energy transition plans that are sustainable and inclusive.
Among the topics discussed in the webinar were the state of the research about gendered impacts of clean energy policies, best practice examples of gender inclusive approaches that lend to better outcomes for clean energy policies, key issues related to the informal economy that should "be taken into consideration when gender mainstreaming clean energy transition policies."
The IEA did not respond to requests for comment