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close this bookEnergy as it relates to Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Protection (UNDP, 1998, 36 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPoverty and Environment Initiative Publications
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
close this folderKey Energy Issues as They Relate to Poverty and Environment
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentInefficient and environmentally harmful energy use
View the documentFirst-cost effect generates poverty-energy-environment lock-in
View the documentFor the poorest of the poor, small improvements in commercial energy services produce large welfare benefits
View the documentConventional energy paradigm contributes to perpetuation of poverty
close this folderEnvironmental problems such as urban air pollution and climate change affect people living in poverty more directly due to current patterns of energy usage
View the documentUrban air pollution
View the documentClimate Change
View the documentInordinate expenditure on energy
View the documentDesigning Sustainable Energy1 Policies for Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Protection
close this folderRemaining Challenges
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSubsidies for conventional fuels distort the markets
View the documentPricing does not reflect externalities
View the documentTheft and pilferage
View the documentOutmoded policy
View the documentLack of coordination in decision-making
View the documentLobbies supporting conventional energy
View the documentLack of information
View the documentLack of skills
View the documentLack of initiative
close this folderExamples of Sustainable Energy Strategies that Simultaneously Address Poverty and Environment Concerns
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentImproved cookstoves and modern fuels
View the documentRural electrification - decentralised options
View the documentImproved urban transportation
View the documentModernised biomass
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences

Poverty and Environment Initiative Publications

There are many reasons to feel optimistic about the future. More people are better fed and housed than ever before, global literacy rates are increasing and more people have access to basic health care. Despite these significant gains, however, the need to arrest the increase in poverty while at the same time reversing the current trends of environmental degradation remains one of the world's greatest challenges. It is essential to tackle these two challenges simultaneously, since it is abundantly clear that the poor suffer disproportionately from the ill effects of environmental decline.

As part of the effort to meet these challenges, the United Nations Development Programme and the European Commission have embarked upon the Poverty and Environment Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to provide a forum for experienced practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and politicians to share their knowledge and identify solutions. Drawing on successful development interventions from all over the world, this effort will result in recommendations for global advocacy, research priorities and practical policies that promote both poverty eradication and sound environmental management, thus creating "win-win" situations for poor people and the environments in which they live.

The Poverty and Environment Initiative allows UNDP and the EC to build upon, and create synergies among, commitments made at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the World Social Summit for Development in Copenhagen in 1995, and other global conferences of the 1990s.

This is one of a series of papers commissioned for the Poverty and Environment Initiative:

1 Links Between Poverty and the Environment in Urban Areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America

2 Community and Household Water Management: The Key to Environmental Regeneration and Poverty Alleviation

3 Poverty-Environment Interactions in Agriculture: Key Factors and Policy Implications

4 Energy as it Relates to Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Protection

5 Economic Reforms, Globalization, Poverty and the Environment


6 Forests and the Poverty-Environment Nexus

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the European Commission, the United Nations, or the United Nations Development Programme.