Sustainable energy for everyone

Rose cooking dinner

Cooking with biomass, Kenya 

A global shift is from fossil fuels to more sustainable and efficient energy systems is needed to tackle climate change and eradicate poverty.

Shifting or leapfrogging to renewable and efficient energy systems offers countries huge opportunities for sustainable economic development and poverty reduction but this transition must benefit everyone, including people living in poverty and vulnerable groups.

Currently billions of people around the world do not modern energy, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia. Sustainable Development Goal 7 aims to ensure affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 but not enough progress is being made, particularly on access to clean, safe cooking.

CAFOD’s work in Kenya shows how solar electricity can help lift people out of poverty- improving food and water security, health and education services, as well as powering farms and businesses. More efficient cookstoves protect women and girls from the health impacts of indoor air pollution – the biggest environmental killer ahead of malaria or unsafe water – and support their empowerment.

Increased finance is needed for energy access, especially for clean cooking and distributed solutions powered by renewable energy for electricity access. These are the least cost solutions for most people living without electricity. CAFOD research shows that the UK spends more on supporting fossil fuels than on renewable energy in developing countries, with only ten per cent of UK energy support going to energy access for people living in poverty

CAFOD’s policy work on sustainable energy for everyone includes:

  • UK support for energy overseas
  • fossil fuels and poverty
  • financing energy access
  • including social protection approaches (“energy safety nets”) to deliver energy services to the poorest people and vulnerable groups
  • inclusive and integrated planning of energy services.
map of energy poverty

Global map of energy poverty 2018

Resources on sustainable energy for everyone

Found 10 results

  • Working Paper on Energy Safety Nets Working Paper on Energy Safety Nets (546kb, pdf)
    CAFOD and ODI

    In collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) CAFOD has developed first-of-its-kind research on “energy safety nets”, social protection approaches to support the very poor and vulnerable to access essential modern energy services by closing the affordability gap between market prices and what poor consumers can pay for both connections and service delivery tariffs. Policy reports and case studies from Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Mexico form the Energy Safety Nets research series.

  • Planning pro-poor energy services for maximum impact: The Energy Delivery Model Toolkit Planning pro-poor energy services for maximum impact: The Energy Delivery Model Toolkit (2mb, pdf)
    Ben Gardside (IIED) and Sarah Wykes (CAFOD)

    This report introduces the EDM toolkit, a six-step process with two innovative tools for inclusive planning of energy services. The toolkit aims to ensure services are appropriate to the local context, meet end users’ development needs and are financially, socially and environmentally sustainable, maximising their impact. The report summarises the process of testing the EDM approach with partners in Indonesia. It outlines the learning from this experience, including wider insights into improving the sustainability and scalability of last-mile energy services and the costs of sub-optimal service design and delivery that merit further research and analysis. 

  • Beyond coal: Scaling up clean energy to fight global poverty Beyond coal: Scaling up clean energy to fight global poverty (2mb, pdf)
    CAFOD, ODI, Christian Aid, Oxfam et al

    Coal is the world’s number one source of CO2 emissions. It is widely accepted that a rapid and just response to climate change will require the urgent replacement of coal with low-carbon energy sources in rich economies. Now the coal industry claims that expanding coal use is critical to fighting extreme poverty and improving energy access for billions of people in developing countries.

    This paper explores the role of energy in fighting poverty, arguing that:

    • More coal will not end energy poverty.
    • Coal is given too much credit for the reduction of extreme poverty.
    • Better energy options exist to lift people out of income poverty.
    • More coal will entrench poverty.
  • Ending energy poverty by 2030 - FAQs Ending energy poverty by 2030 - FAQs (2mb, pdf)

    The UK has promised to support the SDGs, including SDG7 on universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy as a priority for DFID. UK support must be targeted, joined-up - and all of it must be consistent with climate change and poverty reduction objectives - if we are to help countries shift or “leapfrog” to more sustainable energy systems that leave no-one behind, and more widely protect the poorest communities and countries from the impacts of a changing climate. Understanding energy poverty and how to end it – including busting a number of myths – is important if we are to achieve SDG7 in the next 15 years. These FAQs are part of CAFOD’s contribution to building this understanding among UK decision-makers.

  • UK support energy overseas UK support for energy overseas 2010-18

    Burning polluting fossil fuels is the main cause of the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, which is hitting the poorest communities hardest. Phasing out investment in fossil fuels and scaling up support for renewable and efficient energy systems to reach 100 per cent by 2050 will be critical for remaining under 1.5°C of global warming.

  • Energy Sustainable Development Goals Indicators briefing Mar 2015 Energy Sustainable Development Goals Indicators briefing Mar 2015 (914kb, pdf)

    Proposed SDG 7 aims to “ensure access to affordable, sustainable, reliable, and modern energy services for all”, with targets on universal access to energy, increasing the share of renewables in the global energy mix and doubling the annual rate of improvement in energy intensity. This briefing discusses how the energy targets must be sufficiently ambitious to bring about meaningful change and require indicators that “measure what matters” and track progress through clear milestones.

  • Civil Society Participation in the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative: A survey of 6 countries, 2014 Civil Society Participation in the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative: A survey of 6 countries, 2014 (2mb, pdf)

    Meaningful participation of civil society is key to the success of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. The aim of this paper is to provide a ‘snapshot’ of the civil society experience of SE4ALL to date in order to understand the entry points for – and some of the challenges of – participation

    >> Download the report in Spanish: Participación de la Sociedad Civil en la iniciativa de Energía Sostenible para Todos: Encuesta realizada en seis países

  • Energy in the post-2015 Development Framework, 2014 Energy in the post-2015 Development Framework, 2014 (5mb, pdf)

    Access to affordable, safe, efficient and reliable energy services, powered by renewable sources,  is crucial to the success of the post-2015 development framework. This briefing argues for a holistic approach to energy within the post-2015 framework that focuses on development impact with cross-cutting targets and meaningful indicators.

    >> Download the report in SpanishEnergía en el Marco de Desarrollo después del 2015

    >> Download the report in French: L’énergie dans le cadre de développement post-2015

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