Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)
- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
INSTITUTE FOR ESSENTIAL SERVICES REFORM
position for UNCSD (Rio+200) on Combating Energy
Poverty as a Mean to Improve Green Econommy in Order
to Alleviate Poverty
Acccess to energy is instrumental in achieving poverty alleviation and sustainabble growth. Lack of
acccess to modern clean energy is serious hindrance to well being, as well as social and
economic development, annd must be overcome in order to achieve Millenium Development
Goals (MDGs). Access to modern form of energy is essential to the provision of clean water,
sanitation and health care, and can contribute to the development through the provision of
lightning, heating, cooking, telecommunication and transport services. Furthermore, without
meeting the required energy, both in terms of quality and quantity, it is impossible for one to
achieve their sustainability; which leads to unsustainable development.
Billions of people globally are living in energy poverty condition. Currently over 1,4 billion
people are without access to electricity, and 2,7 billion people are heavily reliant on traditional
biomass. Mostly of those are living in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia, and about 85%
are living in the rural area. According to IEA (2030), these figures will not change significantly in
2030, and leave about 15%% of population still without access to the electricity, and even more
with lack of clean cooking fuels. Fail to act significantly, will hamper many communities and
countries, not only to growth in sustainable pathways, but also will grow the inequualities
between developed and developing countries, as well as among communities within the
Henceforth, the occasion oo Rio+20 will be an opportunity for:
- Renewing and increasing the political commitments to combat energy poverty by
supporting universal access to clean energy. Commitmment for energy provisionn, not
only frrom the demand side, but also from thhe supply side.
- To promote actionns and accountability in areas such as the green economy and post-
MDG framework which are inseparable from the issue of energy.
- To ensure that fairness and equity, to be the center of any sustainnable developpment
To increase the political commitments on energy provission
At Rio+20, there should be an increasing of political commitments of governments, with
supports from international agencies and civil society, which will result in implementation of
energy provision, both in the demand side and also in the supply side. There are several
elements that should be strengthened, in terms of future commitments in the energy
- Assesssing the 20 years of progress since Rio 1992, on the access to modern energy
for 20 years, then to raise the ambition to increase the universal access to modern
energy services taking the account of equity principle.
- Needs to make bold commitmment on fossil fuel subsidies reform. As all nations have
been highly depending on fossil fuel, and fossil fuel subsidies, in many forms have
consumed up public funding and have made renewable energy less competitive.
Without alternative energy form widely available, and lower cost for fossil fuel, have
created more dependency on the fossil fuels. All countries should commit themselves
to phase out fossil fuel subsidies gradually, and shifted it to all means that will enforce
the acccess to energy for all through better policy tools and mechanism that help the
poor for accessing modern clean energy services.
- To increase the access to modern energy, all country members should commmit to
transfer of technoology, and formulate the energy-financing scheme that carries the
principle of equity.
On Green Ecoonomy
At Rio+20, all country members should come up with an agreed understanding of green
ecconomy since there should not be a one-size-fits-all definition on greeen economyy. The
understanding of green ecoonomy should accommoodate the level of development, equity and
also common but differentiated responsibilities principles. There are several elements that
should be incoorporated in the understanding of green economy. Green econnomy should be an
ecconomy that will increase the number of jobs, restoring the quality of environment, efficient
use of natural resources capital, improving the qualitty of life of huuman being.
The green economy that is formulated in Rio+20 should consist of:
Commmit to full adoption of clean energy
Clean energy is the key element to develop ones economy. A clear definition of clean
energy should also be agreed at Rio+20 Summit which should not consist the burning
of coal, nuclear power plant, or any other facilities where environment and social
impacts are disturbed as the result.
Renewable energy facilities should be widely used throughout the member countries.
At the same time, energy efficient economy should also be developed accorrdingly.
Developed countries should provide assistances in both knowledge and funding to
developing countries in making transition to low carbon energy pathways.
Ensuring the Accesss to Energy
The access to energy should also be highlighted in the context of fair green economy.
Access to energy should address the need to energy provision that is affordable,
ensuring its availability, transparency in technology acceptability, and also to improve
the accessibility. In this regards, access to informationn should also be improved in
order to ensure that all the above criteria are met.
Capacity building and access to information should be embedded into the issue of
ensuring the access to energy. Both are highly important in order to enhance the
access to energy. Without capaaity building and also proper access to information, the
improvement of access to energy will not be sustained.
Phasing Out the Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Fossil fuel subsidies should be phased out. According to IEA (2011), global fossil fuel
subsidies reached more than $ 409 billionn annually in 2010, increased from $ 312
billion in 2009. Without meaningful reform, this subsidy is estimateed to reach $ 660
billion in 2020 or 00,7 percent of global gross domestic product.
Not only the subsidies have increased its favorable option compare to renewable
energyy, but also fossil fuel subsidies will lead to more dependency to fossil fuel and
accelerate climate change. There should be an agreement to shift the fossil fuel
subsidies to further development and deployment of renewable energy to combat
global warming, and at the samme time ensuring the equitable access to energy services
Energy Financinng and Technology Transfer
In order to increase the acccess to energy, financingg for energy should also be established. IEA
estimated that to provide universal acccess to modern energy services in 2030 requires $ 776
billion additional financing or about $ 36 billion investment annually. Strengthening political
commitment for supporting universal energy services in Rio+20 should include commitment to
generate additional investment from public sources.
Furthermore, Rio+20 should come up with the framework on scheme for alternative financing
mechanism for supporting universal acccess to energy which shall be accessed by all countries.
This funding must be govern by the principle of transparency, accountability, and practicability,
with proper monitoring andd evaluation mechanism in place.
Given that the biggest challenge for energy provision is in the rural areas, off-grid and
decentralized energy system based on renewable energy technologies will be suitable for this
purpose. Howwever, cost for renewable energy systems applied for rural electrification are
considered expensive, therefore limits the ability of most deeveloping coountries to deploy
renewable energy extensively to meet their rural energy provisioo target.
Therefore, in addition to the availability of finance, develop countries through various channel
must assist developing counntries with the state-of-art renewable energy technology with higher
effficiency, and cost effective, through a global technology transfer mechanism programm. This
prrogram mustt come withh the objecttive to enabble developing countriess to developp and
manufacture renewable energy technology such as: low cost photovoltaic (PVV) technology, low
cost solar thermal, high efficient micro and mini-hydro, advance improved cook-stove
technology, wind power, annd biomass technologies.