Major world economies including member nations of the the Group of 8 officially launched a partnership yesterday to accelerate the implementation of energy efficient measures in their economies.

The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) was announced during a Group of 8 Energy Ministers Meeting in Rome over the weekend.

Energy efficiency is especially important in buildings located in the U.S., which use the most energy compared with any other industry in the country.

Countries which signed on to become partners included the G8: Canada , France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, The United Kingdom and the United States. Also joining were emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the Republic of Korea.

Under this move, countries will be able to exchange information on practices, policies and measures for efficient building designs.

[The partnership] will facilitate greater cooperation on our shared goals: a healthier planet and a stronger global economy, said Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy, who attended the meetings.

It is estimated that 30 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector around the world could be slashed by 2030 and produce a net economic benefit, according to a report in 2007 by the International Panel on Climate Change.

In the recently enacted federal stimulus package, the U.S. allocated $6.3 billion in grants to help state and local governments invest in programs to become more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions. Secretary Chu has also pushed the DOE for research on more efficient building designs.