Sustainable energy for everyone
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.