Speaking at the IEA's 5th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, which brought together more than 40 high-level speakers, including government ministers and CEOs.
"Governments are making hugely consequential decisions regarding their economic recovery plans, and energy efficiency should sit at the heart of efforts aimed at spurring economic growth while also making energy systems cleaner and more resilient," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in his opening address to the virtual conference.
As part of the conference, the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, which was established last year, unveiled 10 recommendations on how energy efficiency measures could be rapidly accelerated.
Among the recommendations, the commission said while all parts of society needed to participate, governments need to lead through investment which would drive innovation and higher standards.
The report published by the commission states ambitious energy efficiency action can be mobilised quickly to create jobs, stimulate local economic activity, and improve energy affordability.
"Energy efficiency is at the core of Ireland's Climate Action Plan, which sets out how we intend to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the years ahead," Global Commission chair and Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar wrote in the report.
Earlier this week, climate activist group Clean State released a proposal for the Western Australian state government to build 15,000 energy efficient social housing homes over three years.
"Our plan would deliver homes to those families and individuals with a 7.5 star energy rating, which means lower bills, higher quality of life, and less pollution," Clean State director of research and policy Chantal Caruso said.
"Building these homes in three years would deliver 58,500 shovel and screwdriver-ready full-time construction jobs, 1,150 rooftop solar installation jobs, and 30,000 tonnes in reduced carbon emissions per year."
The plan also calls for the government to retrofit 45,000 social housing homes across the state with energy efficiency solutions.
"These renovations would help tens of thousands of West Australians cut their power bills by as much as $800 a year, and would deliver at least 3,625 full-time jobs over three years, mostly to small businesses in insulation, energy efficiency and rooftop solar," Caruso said.