Report by: CAFOD, IIED and Practical Action.
Ending energy poverty requires a holistic approach to development.
As the post-2015 discussion has recognised, reliable and affordable access to energy for lighting, heating, cooking, mechanical power, transport and telecommunications is fundamental to achieving poverty eradication and broader sustainable development.1 Approximately one in five people in the world lack access to electricity. Access to low or zero carbon energy services also increases poor people’s resilience to shocks caused by environmental degradation and climate change which, left unchecked, will make future poverty eradication impossible.
In summary, shifting to low or zero carbon energy is crucial to ending energy poverty, ensuring long-term energy security and avoiding dangerous climate change globally.
Progress in many development areas is intrinsically linked with access to energy.2 Thus a comprehensive and integrated approach to energy under the post-2015 framework – rather than isolating it within an energy goal – would be the most effective. For instance, rather than having a water goal focusing on water services for schools and health facilities, and an energy goal that does not mention them, there should be targets across different goal areas to promote universal access to modern infrastructure services for schools, health facilities and households. This would incentivise actors in different sectors to work together, leading to coherent and comprehensive action, and cross-sectoral buy in.