With 1.3 billion people around the world currently lacking access to electricity and a further 2.7 billion unable to enjoy clean and safe cooking facilities, the need to radically expand access to sustainable and clean energy for all is becoming increasingly urgent. Nowhere is this need more pressing than in the global south, where billions of people rely on wood, charcoal, or animal waste for heating and cooking.
In addition to mitigating the harmful effects of CO2 emissions, sustainable energy is vital for the most basic living needs of billions of people and for fostering economic growth in developing and emerging countries, which are rapidly progressing in a global economy still quivering from the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis.
In an effort to meet these energy challenges, world leaders including UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and European Commission president José Manuel Barroso recently convened at the EU Sustainable Energy For All Summit in Brussels to launch a new EU energy initiative aimed at extending sustainable energy access to all by 2030. The proposals within the “Energising Development” initiative include financial support for sustainable energy investments in the developing world via various channels including public-private partnerships.