Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said better energy efficiency was an essential tool for energy security. Coordinated efforts should be made, she said, to phase out inefficient fossil fuels in favor of low-carbon solutions.
Van der Hoeven was speaking before delegates at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation energy conference in St. Petersburg. She said that, in 2010, more than half of the world's top oil consumers were members of APEC.
"Energy security is therefore a shared concern, especially during these stormy economic times," she said in her statement.
Parts of Europe are struggling under the economic weight of sovereign debt. The Chinese economy, meanwhile, is said to be slowing down.
"International cooperation, such as that between the IEA and APEC, will be essential to achieving our convergent energy security interests," said van der Hoeven.