The history of the IEA began with the 1973-1974 Middle East War crises and its immediate outcome. While oil-producing countries appeared relatively well organized to utilize their new oil-based economic and political power, many OECD countries found themselves inadequately equipped with the information and organization necessary to meet the corresponding challenges.
The policy and institutional lessons of the crisis led swiftly in November 1974 to the establishment of the IEA. The Agency's mandate has broadened to focus on the "3Es" of effective energy policy:
- Economic development,
- Energy security,
- Environmental protection.
The latter has focused on mitigating climate change. The IEA has a broad role in promoting alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies, and multinational energy technology co-operation.
IEA Bioenergy established in 1978 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment.
The International Energy Agency acts as energy policy advisor to 29 Member Countries plus the European Commission, in their effort to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy for their citizens. The IEA’s initial role was to co-ordinate measures in times of oil supply emergencies. As energy markets have changed, so has the IEA. Current work focuses on climate change policies, market reform, energy technology collaboration and outreach to the rest of the world, especially major producers and consumers of energy like China, India, Russia and the OPEC countries.
Activities are set-up under Implementing Agreements. These are independent bodies operating in a framework provided by the IEA. There are 42 currently active Implementing Agreements, one of which is IEA Bioenergy. Twenty-two countries plus the European Commission participate in IEA Bioenergy.