IEA: Low oil prices are hurting energy efficiency trends

PARIS -- An updated analysis from the International Energy Agency has confirmed that the current oil price environment has had a negative impact on oil investments, hurt energy efficiency and boosted the share of oil produced in the Middle East.

According to the IEA, the lower oil and gasoline prices are hurting energy efficiency trends in some countries, particularly in the transportation sector, where they have given a boost to the sale of sport utility vehicles.

Consumers have moved away from energy-efficient vehicles that they favored when oil prices were higher. In the United States, sales of SUVs grew at a rate about 2.5 times faster than sales of light duty vehicles between 2014 and 2015. From June 2015 sales of large SUVs has increased by 30.1%. Sales of SUVs in China grew at an even faster rate.