Around two billion people currently live in a situation of energy poverty, with this figure expected to rise to three billion by 2030. While this trend is evident in many countries, energy poverty is most common in economically developing countries. At present, India and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia are most extensively affected by energy poverty. Reducing energy poverty is necessary for a country’s economic and social development. There are concerns, however, that reducing energy poverty and mitigating climate change are conflicting goals. These concerns are invalid if strong measures towards reducing emissions are taken, such as the development of clean energy technologies to a commercially viable level. Subsequent deployment of these technologies in areas where energy poverty is prevalent is also important if these two goals are not to contradict one another. Nevertheless, even reducing energy poverty with the currently carbon-intensive energy sources would not drastically impact progress towards the emissions reduction targets.
This is demonstrated by a recent study that finds that granting energy access for all would only account for 10% of the anticipated emissions rise over the next 20 years. This is without changing the current energy mix. Policies and technologies can and should work towards developing modern energy access for all.
The objective of this ICCG Hot Topic is to develop tools that will enhance the understanding of this topic and its socio-economic complexities. This understanding can be used for both distance learning and to inform policy discussions at the national and international level. This Hot Topic also intends to provide a platform through which initiatives can converge and ideas can be shared. The tools and their implications are intended to be relevant and useful globally.
Below is a list of actions taken by ICCG in the field of Energy Poverty studies, and a list of other sources relevant for the hot topic.