Power to be - your questions answered
20 April 2017
We answer all your questions about our new Power to be campaign.
What is Power to be?
Every child has the power to achieve great things. But with one in six people still living without electricity, the hopes of millions of the world’s children are too often a distant dream.
Renewable energy can transform lives for children, so they don’t have to rely on unpredictable, dangerous and unhealthy energy sources such as candles, paraffin lamps and firewood.
By joining CAFOD’s Power to be campaign, you can speak up for local, renewable energy which tackles poverty. So everyone can have the chance to fulfil their God-given potential.
When does the Power to be campaign launch?
A general election has now been called for 8 June. This gives us the opportunity to speak out for the kind of world we want to see, and the responsibility to make sure that the voices of the poorest people are listened to in the debate.
We have the chance to question all candidates and parties about how, if elected, they will care for creation, tackle global poverty and promote the common good.
You can still take action in support of Power to be as an individual, parish or school from now until at least the end of 2017. Download all the Power to be resources today. But our priority, until after polling day, is the general election.
What are we asking for?
The UK spends money on energy access for the poorest communities through the World Bank. This is supposed to tackle poverty. Yet only a tiny proportion - less than three per cent- of World Bank energy spending supports the kind of energy that we know benefits the poorest communities.
Through Power to be, we’re calling on Melanie Robinson, UK Executive Director at the World Bank, to support local, renewable energy which tackles poverty.
What is the best way for poor communities to access electricity?
Local, renewable energy can help families to lift themselves out of poverty, without harming the world we share.
Nearly 90 per cent of people without electricity live in villages. It can be expensive and difficult to extend the main grid to homes, schools and clinics in rural areas. The cheapest, fastest, and most efficient solution is usually to provide mini-grids powered by renewables.
What can I do?
Sign the petition to Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative at the World Bank, and ask her to support renewable energy which benefits the poorest.
Share this petition with others and encourage people in your school or parish to sign campaign action cards to the World Bank. Together, we can change lives for good.
This summer, from 1-9 July, speak up to your newly elected MP and show them you care about energy access for the world’s poorest people.
What is the World Bank?
The single biggest channel of UK funding for energy access for poor communities is through the World Bank.
The World Bank is an international organisation with a mission to end poverty around the world. It is jointly owned by 189 country governments, but shareholder countries like the UK hold greater power in making decisions.
Who is Melanie Robinson and how can she make a difference?
The UK is one of only five countries which appoints its own executive director to the Board of the World Bank. The rest of the 25 directors are elected, often by many countries. The UK has a strong voice.
Through Power to be, we are asking Melanie Robinson, UK Executive Director at the World Bank, to use her voice at the board level to ensure the Bank invests in providing safe, reliable, affordable and renewable energy for poor communities.
Shouldn’t rich countries take the lead in shifting to clean energy?
Yes. The UK should also be making its own energy sustainable and efficient to protect the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate deal set us on a new path towards sustainable development.
We will continue to campaign to make sure the UK government delivers on its promises. We’ll be speaking up with The Climate Coalition for a week of action on climate change from 1-9 July.
Invite your newly elected MP to come and meet people in your community and call on them to champion for local renewable energy at home and overseas.
Don’t poor countries need fossil fuels to develop?
Most people in energy poverty live in rural areas. This means that connecting to the electricity grid, however it is powered, would be expensive and slow.
For most households, particularly in rural areas where most energy poor people live, the cheapest and quickest option for electricity access is usually a solar home system, or a mini-grid, often powered by renewable energy.
The cost of decentralised renewable technologies like solar is going down fast, while the cost of generating centralised grid power from fossil fuels is rising. Even when people can afford to get connected, electricity grids in many countries are very unreliable with frequent power cuts.