Development agenda's energy policy needs radical overhauling

From Global development | The Guardian Wed Jan 16 2013, 06:47:00

Access to clean energy shouldn't be the only goal - provide electricity for economic purposes to truly empower people

The lack of agreed collective action at the Rio+20 Earth summit in July to deliver the goals of the UN initiative of 'Sustainable Energy for All' (SE4All) should have come as no surprise. After all, the millennium development goals did not encompass access to modern energy services. Inevitably, perhaps, we therefore live in a world where 1.3 billion people still have no access to electricity and 2.6 billion do not have clean cooking facilities, relying instead on dung and wood, according to the 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency.

Access to energy makes possible so much of modern life that developed societies take for granted: clean water, sanitation, economic activity, community services. Indeed many of the MDGs cannot be met, or can be met only with enormous difficulty, in the absence of modern energy services. This is also true of the less obviously energy dependent ones, like gender equality - for it is the women and girls who spend hours gathering biomass and who suffer respiratory diseases caused by cooking with it.

Some countries, and many business organisations, made commendable commitments to advance the SE4All goals, which comprise delivering universal access to energy, doubling the rate of improvement in energy intensity (energy used per unit of output) and doubling the share of renewables in energy consumption by 2030. But these commitments fall woefully short of what is required.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Chad:   Habre's Tactics Mimic Script of Former Rulers (analysis)
The Conversation
31 July 2015

There is more to former Chadian President Hissène Habré's disruption of the opening of his trial in Dakar than meets the eye. He faces various charges including the politically motivated ... [read more]

South Africa:   In South Africa Childhood Hunger and Obesity Live Side By Side (analysis)
The Conversation
30 July 2015

There is a bizarre paradox at work in South Africa: children are either going hungry or are eating too much of the wrong foods. This means that over and under nutrition co-exist. Both phenomena are ... [read more]

Zimbabwe:   Govt Issues Hunting Restrictions (news)
New Zimbabwe
1 August 2015

WILDLIFE authorities have announced an immediate ban on the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants outside Hwange National Park in the wake of the widely condemned killing of iconic lion, Cecil ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!


Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...