Power to the People - seminar 17 July 2002
Power to the People
Sustainable energy solutions for the world's poor
ITDGPractical Action hosted a multi-stakeholder seminar examining visions to deliver sustainable energy solutions to the world's poor, on July 17th, 2002 at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London.
- Sally Keeble MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development
- Benedict Southworth, Director of the Climate Campaign, Greenpeace International
- Robert Kleiburg, Vice-President Planning & Strategy, Shell Renewables
- Cowan Coventry, Chief Executive, ITDGPractical Action
As we approach the Johannesburg Earth Summit in late August, one of the key issues of international debate will be the provision of sustainable energy solutions to improve the lives of the world's poor.
More than 2 billion people in the developing world use biomass (wood and dung) for cooking. Exposure to smoke from these cooking fires is a major factor causing respiratory infection, which kills 1.8 million people (mostly children) each year. These people currently have no access to modern energy, like electricity, to provide lighting for homes or schools, refrigeration for vaccines, power for cottage industries or access to communications.
In order to find a way to supply the poor with the access they need to modern, appropriate and affordable energy, ITDGPractical Action believes that governments, the private sector and NGOs need to come together to:
- investigate the relationship between the lack of energy services and poverty in developing countries.
- explore the development of appropriate financing mechanisms, policies and international market strategies to meet the energy needs of the poor.
To this end, ITDGPractical Action hosted Power to the People, a multi-stakeholder seminar on energy and poverty reduction. The event presented four key visions from government, the private sector, environmental and development NGOs in response to the following question:
How can we deliver sustainable energy solutions to help achieve the UN millennium goal of halving the number of people living in absolute poverty by 2015?
From the NGO side, Benedict Southworth, Director of Climate Campaigns at Greenpeace International presented the environmental ‘vision’ and Cowan Coventry, Chief Executive of ITDGPractical Action provided the development perspective. Sally Keeble, Parliamentary Under Secretary for International Development, responded to the question from a political perspective, and Robert Kleiburg, Vice-President Planning & Strategy, Shell Renewables, presented the view from private industry.
After the presentations, there was an opportunity for attendees to take part in one of three working groups:
The aim was to add value to NGO, private sector, academic and governmental inputs to the major multilateral meetings and initiatives - including those sponsored by the G8, the International Energy Agency and the EU - taking place in the lead up to the Johannesburg Earth Summit.
Seminar working groups
Task: To recommend clear development targets for energy initiatives resulting from the Earth Summit.
Energy initiatives should not aim simply to expand the use of energy technologies, but should ultimately aim at human development outcomes. This working group should explore the links between energy supply and the development needs of the poor, with the aim recommending development targets from initiatives to increase access to sustainable energy.
Task : To develop an action plan for sustainable cooking for the two billion who currently cook on wood or dung fires.
Cooking the most basic energy need of poor people in developing countries. For millions of people in developing countries (mostly women and children) gathering and cooking with wood or dung impacts significantly on their livelihoods and health. This working group will develop a plan of action for stakeholders at international, national and local levels, which will allow these people to access clean and sustainable fuels and clean cooking technologies.
Task: To develop an action plan for wide scale electrification of poor communities through wider uptake of small scale renewable technologies
Modern sustainable energy is an essential component for development of the poorest communities in developing countries. There are a range of small scale renewable energy technologies (solar photovoltaic, wind power, hydro power and so on) available to provide these energy needs. The working group will consider how to achieve positive development outcomes from improved access to small scale renewable energy technologies. In addition recommendations should be made on actions at international, national and local levels which will achieve wide spread dissemination of renewable energy technologies and achieve these development goals.
Moderated by Professor Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey
|13.30||Coffee and registration|
|14.00||Welcome and introduction|
|Professor Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey|
|14.05||The government perspective|
|Sally Keeble MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development|
|14.15||The environmental view|
|Benedict Southworth, Director of the Climate Change Campaign, Greenpeace International|
|14.25||The private sector position|
|Robert Kleiburg, Vice President Planning & Strategy, Shell Renewables|
|14.35||The development vision|
|Cowan Coventry, Chief Executive ITDGPractical Action|
|15.00||Introduction to breakout sessions|
|Energy and poverty linkages (Room No. B102)|
|Facilitated by Andrew Scott, International Programmes & Policy Director, ITDGPractical Action|
|Cooking, biomass and clean energy (Room No. B203)|
|Facilitated by Smail Khennas, Senior Energy Specialist, ITDGPractical Action|
|Rural electrification (Room No. B202)|
|Facilitated by Rona Wilkinson, Energy Programme Manager, Intermediate Technology Consultants|
|16.00||Reporting back by rappateurs, followed by open discussion|
|16.50||Reflections on the day and the way forward|
|17.00||Seminar closure followed by drinks|
- Power to the People: ITDGPractical Action seminar paper on energy and poverty
- Energy for the Poor: ITDGPractical Action's energy advocacy work
- Read about the Choose Positive Energy campaign, and ITDGPractical Action's position on taking an environmental and developmental common perspective
- Technical solutions to energy needs must be accessible, affordable and appropriate
- The realities of renewable energy and poverty reduction
- ITDGPractical Action's Energy projects
- Why energy is fundamental to improving the lives of poor people