Choose Positive Energy
Choose Positive Energy
Nearly two million people, the majority children, die each year because their houses are full of smoke from wood or dung burning fires. They die because they are poor and because they have no other choice than burn wood and dung for cooking and light. They make up part of over 2 billion people, a third of the world’s population that have no access to modern energy.
Energy and poverty are interlinked. Clinics do not have refrigeration for vaccines. Children cannot study at night because there is no light. Mothers spend a long time collecting fuel wood instead of focusing on family or income generation. Simple time saving machines, such as grain mills, aren’t available, so women have to pound grain for hours. In addition there is no power for small enterprise or cottage industry.
What is happening
At the world Earth Summit in Johannesburg, the world’s heads of state discussed actions for sustainable development. High on the agenda at this meeting were clean and sustainable energy.
Practical Action (then ITDG) joined Greenpeace and The Body Shop to call for the UK government to support the Choose Positive Energy campaign and help secure a commitment from the world leaders to deliver clean and sustainable energy to the two billion people without modern energy.
What ITDGPractical Action are doing
The Choose Positive Energy campaign called on the leaders at this meeting to deliver funds to increase capacity in developing countries to supply clean, sustainable energy to the people who need it most, and to develop markets for appropriate renewable energy technologies to provide electricity to help people out of poverty.
During the Earth Summit ITDGPractical Action campaigned for action on clean energy specifically to target poverty reduction. Practical Action’s experience of implementing energy projects with poor communities has demonstrated that it is possible to supply their energy needs using locally produced clean technologies. In Johannesburg we took part in meetings, discussion and lobbying to influence a wide range of delegates, including multinational organisations such as the World Bank, government, private companies and other NGOs. We used examples of our own work in the field and successful projects from around the world to show the links between energy and poverty reduction and the potential for small scale energy projects to supply energy to the poorest communities.
Working with Greenpeace, Practical Action produced an action plan, Sustainable Energy for Poverty Reduction, which reviews international actions taking place to provide sustainable energy services to the world's poor, and outlines the steps necessary to achieve the win-win goal of poverty reduction and action on climate change.
This action plan was launched in Johannesburg on August 30th, 2002, at a Choose Positive Energy event hosted by singer Baaba Maal.
- Sustainable Energy for Poverty Reduction - an ITDGPractical Action-Greenpeace joint action plan
- ITDGPractical Action at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
- Power to the People: sustainable energy for the world’s poor -
an agenda for change
- Power to the People: an ITDGPractical Action seminar on energy and poverty reduction, 17 July 2002
- ITDGPractical Action's position on the realities of renewable energy and poverty reduction
- Why energy is fundamental to improving the lives of poor people
- Technical solutions to energy needs must be accessible, affordable and appropriate
- ITDGPractical Action's energy programme
NB: we have removed all links to the Choose Positive Energy website, as it has been hijacked.