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As the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, there is nobody in the world more qualified to discuss the outlook for energy and the energy economy than Dr. Fatih Birol. He has overall responsibility for the economic analysis of energy and climate change policy for the organization and also oversees the annual World Energy Outlook publication. This is the gold standard for energy analysis and predictions. The IEA Energy Business Council, which provides a business perspective on the energy market to policymakers, also comes under his remit. Much sought-after globally for his insights, he makes frequent media appearances and speaks at many major international summits and conferences.

Educated with a Bachelor of Science degree in power engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul, Dr. Birol took his MS and Ph.D. in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna. Before joining the IEA he worked for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Dr. Birol's outstanding contribution to the energy debate has been acknowledged with many awards. Recently Forbes Magazine nominated him as the world's fourth most influential person in the world of energy. He has been honored with the Federal Cross of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Golden Honor Medal of the Austrian Republic and is a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Palmes Academique of France. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Polish Ministry of Economy have also given him awards. The International Association of Energy Economics honored him for “Outstanding Contribution to the Profession," and the US Department of Energy and the Russian Academy of Sciences have also recognized his work.

Full Profile

Dr. Fatih Birol is the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, with overall responsibility for the organisation’s economic analysis of energy and climate change policy. He oversees the annual World Energy Outlook which is the flagship publication of the IEA and is recognised as the most authoritative source for energy analysis and projections. He is also responsible for the IEA Energy Business Council which provides policymakers with a business perspective on energy market issues. He is a frequent contributor to media and delivers numerous speeches each year at major international summits and conferences.

Throughout his career, Dr. Birol has been decorated with numerous awards in recognition of his contribution to the energy debate. He was recently named by Forbes Magazine as the world’s fourth most powerful person in terms of influence on the world’s energy scene. In 2009, alongside awards from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Polish Ministry of Economy, Dr. Birol was honored with the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He was awarded the Golden Honour Medal of the Austrian Republic in 2007 and was made a Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Academique by the French Government in 2006. He received the annual award of the International Association of Energy Economics for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Profession’ in 2005. These followed awards from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2004 and the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002.

Prior to joining the IEA in 1995, Dr. Birol worked for six years at the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna.

A Turkish citizen, Dr. Birol was born in Ankara in 1958. He earned a BS degree in power engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul. He received his MS and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna.


Fatih Birol Speaker Videos Back to top

The Future of Global Energy


Dr. Fatih Birol explores the future of global energy, bringing his unrivaled expert viewpoint as Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency. Before looking into the future, he explains, we have to know where we are today: “Today, most of the countries in the world, in Europe, not only in Europe but elsewhere, the main problem is that the government is spending 95% of their time and efforts not to go into a second recession. This is the burning question… before the financial crisis, many governments had a lot of policies in their minds to address energy issues, climate change issues, and now they haven't even got the time to think about this."

Demonstrating how the world of energy is all interlinked, he comments on Chinese problems with mining safety issues. He says, “As a result of this, China started to import for the first time, only 3% of its coal use, 97% domestic product, 3% imported. As a result of that, 3% of China is so important for the world, such a big number, the international coal market suddenly went through a major change, coal prices which were $60 in one year went to $120."

Addressing one of the most important and contentious issues in the energy world of recent times, he says, “Shale gas, when you produce shale gas, it can have negative implications for the environment, and unlike what some gas companies are claiming, this is not green lobbying or anything, this is a real problem in many cases. There is a problem of contamination of water, there is a problem of local pollution, and communities where these gas depots are are negatively affected in many countries."

Keynote Speech


World Energy Outlook post-Copenhagen



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Dr. Fatih Birol can speak on a range of topics related to energy and energy security. Bringing the expertise and knowledge from a career at the very top of the world of energy, his insights into what will be happening in the future, in terms of supply, security and new energy sources, are not to be missed.

Suggested Speaking Topics:
  • Rethinking Global Energy Security
  • A New Energy Future
  • World Energy Outlook




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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Suggested Speaking Topics:
  • Rethinking Global Energy Security
  • A New Energy Future
  • World Energy Outlook


The Future of Global Energy


Dr. Fatih Birol explores the future of global energy, bringing his unrivaled expert viewpoint as Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency. Before looking into the future, he explains, we have to know where we are today: “Today, most of the countries in the world, in Europe, not only in Europe but elsewhere, the main problem is that the government is spending 95% of their time and efforts not to go into a second recession. This is the burning question… before the financial crisis, many governments had a lot of policies in their minds to address energy issues, climate change issues, and now they haven't even got the time to think about this."

Demonstrating how the world of energy is all interlinked, he comments on Chinese problems with mining safety issues. He says, “As a result of this, China started to import for the first time, only 3% of its coal use, 97% domestic product, 3% imported. As a result of that, 3% of China is so important for the world, such a big number, the international coal market suddenly went through a major change, coal prices which were $60 in one year went to $120."

Addressing one of the most important and contentious issues in the energy world of recent times, he says, “Shale gas, when you produce shale gas, it can have negative implications for the environment, and unlike what some gas companies are claiming, this is not green lobbying or anything, this is a real problem in many cases. There is a problem of contamination of water, there is a problem of local pollution, and communities where these gas depots are are negatively affected in many countries."

Keynote Speech


World Energy Outlook post-Copenhagen