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close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 35 - November 2001 - Theme: Poverty & Energy (INFORSE, 2001, 18 p.)
close this folderTheme: Poverty & Energy
close this folderViews on Poverty
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentGlobal Marshall Plan
View the documentHow to bring energy-sector assistance closer to...
View the documentGetting Renewable Energy to Tackle Poverty
View the documentGlobal Vision 2050, INFORSE
View the documentImproved Cooking Stove - a Case in Nepal
View the documentProgress has been less than hoped


In this theme on "Poverty and Energy" we start with an overview of present visions made by Greenpeace, Worldwatch Institute, and INFORSE.

You can read about some facts. "The progress has been less than hoped." as also the World Bank concludes in its yearly report. There is an active search for broader approaches how to reduce poverty, and how to use sustainable energy to tackle poverty. On the next pages, you can read about an NGO view and the view of a working group of the UK government, which is searching dialogue.


Global Marshall Plan

Global "Marshall Plan"
It does NOT cost too much.

The industrial nations should launch a global "Marshall Plan" to provide everyone on earth with a decent standard of living.

A 1998 report by the UNDP estimated the annual costs:
- $9 billion - to provide water and sanitation for all;
- $12 billion - to cover reproductive health for all women;
- $13 billion - to give basic health and nutrition for all;
- $6 billion - to provide basic education for all.

These sums are pale in comparison with the estimated $ 780 billion that is being spent on military by all nations.

George C. Marshall, June 5, 1947, said surveying the wrecked economies of Europe:

"possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned." There could be "no political stability and no assured peace" without economic security, and that U.S. policy was "directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."


How to bring energy-sector assistance closer to...

How to bring energy-sector assistance closer to contributing to poverty reduction?

· Put ‘Energy Poverty’ on the national energy agendas!

· Overcome the limitation of the market-based approach by assisting:

· Equal access for the minimum standard energy services

· Capacity building by decentralised energy services

· Civil society participation

Read more about this NGO view on pages 8 - 9

Photo: From the front page of the Greenpeace Campaign Paper. "Power to Tackle Poverty"

Getting Renewable Energy to Tackle Poverty

Getting Renewable Energy to Tackle Poverty

Action for Clean Energy - Global Campaign
to secure a commitment from the world leaders at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development to get renewable energy to the world’s 2 billion poorest people within 10 years.

The poor do not have access to essential needs such as clean water, health care, cooking facilities, heating, lighting.

The failure of providing these is one of the most pressing problems facing humanity today.

Renewable energy can meet people’s needs.


Global Vision 2050, INFORSE

Global Vision 2050
100% Renewable Energy in the World in 2050.

It is possible before 2050 with:

· More energy services

· Higher energy efficiency

· Cheaper: solar and wind

· Phased out: oil, nuclear


Improved Cooking Stove - a Case in Nepal

The photo shows a happy poor woman in Nepal, who got an improved cooking stove. Photo by Saurab K. Shrestha, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Nepal.

An improved cooking stove has an immediate impact on poverty reduction:

· it decreases respiratory diseases, and as a result it decreases mortality in women and children,

· it reduces drudgery as the stoves reduce by half the consumption of fuel wood,

· it generates income at the local level as the local stove promoters and stove technicians are paid, and

· it builds up both institutional and technical capacity at the local level, as local structures are used as a basis for social mobilisation.

The stoves also have positive environmental impact, as the reduced fuel wood consumption reduces the pressure on scarce forest resources, and as a well built and maintained stove has a better combustion and thus reduces the emission of dangerous gasses.

In Nepal, DANIDA (Danish International Development Assistance) started up a project promoting improved cooking stoves.

The users are supposed to pay the stove builder a fixed price, which has been decided by the community. The prices vary from location to location from 50 rps (0.6 USD) to 350 rps (4.2 USD), reflecting, among other factors, the fuel scarcity and relative affluence in a given area.

Even with these low prices, it is still a challenge to reach the poorest part of the population. The support of the project is primarily being spent on building up a critical mass of skilled stove promoters and on creation of institutional capacity both at the local and central levels.

More information: Saurab K. Shrestha, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Krishna Galli, Pulchowk, Lalitpur Nepal, Ph: +977 1 522520, or CRT, e-mail: [email protected].

Progress has been less than hoped

"Progress has been less than hoped"

Critics resulted with three World Bank Reports, which Urge Broader Approach to Reducing Poverty World Development Report (WDR) 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty

At the start of a new century, poverty remains a global problem of huge proportions.

Of the world’s 6 billion people, 2.8 billion live on less than $2 a day, and 1.2 billion on less than $1 a day.

8 out of every 100 infants do not live to see their fifth birthday. 9 of every 100 boys and 14 of every 100 girls who reach school age do not attend school.

Deprivation is also evident in poor people’s lack of political power and voice as well as in their extreme vulnerability to ill health, economic dislocation, personal violence, and natural disasters. The scourge of HIV/AIDS, the frequency and brutality of civil conflicts, and rising disparities between rich countries and the developing world have increased the sense of deprivation and injustice for many.

Voices of the Poor

A research study in 3 volumes, background material to the WDR 2000/2001.

-"Can Anyone Hear Us?" analyzes the voices of over 40,000 poor women and men in 50 countries from participatory poverty assessments carried out by the World Bank in the 1990s;

- "Crying Out for Change" pulls together reports on fieldwork conducted in 1999 in 23 countries involving over 20,000 poor men and women; and

-"From Many Lands" offers regional patterns and country case studies.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Sourcebook Draft - for Comments!

Despite modest reductions in poverty in recent decades, progress has been less than hoped, especially in low-income countries.

This disappointment has led to a critical search for policies that best promote economic growth and reduce poverty in low-income countries, as well as a realization that the delivery of external support should be changed.

The purpose of the book is to provide guidance and analytical tools for developing poverty-reduction strategies. An "Energy Chapter" is also included!
Comments are welcome to the draft:
e-mail: [email protected]

"Poverty is pain; it feels like a disease.
It attacks a person not only materially but also morally.
It eats away one’s dignity and drives one into total despair."
- a poor woman in Moldova

"Poverty is like heat you cannot see it, so to know poverty you have to go through it"
- Adaboya, Ghana