|Sustainable Energy News - No. 35 - November 2001 - Theme: Poverty & Energy (INFORSE, 2001, 18 p.)|
|Theme: Poverty & Energy|
|Views on Poverty|
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"
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
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 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
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
Action for Clean Energy - Global Campaign
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 peoples needs.
Global Vision 2050
It is possible before 2050 with:
· More energy services
· Higher energy efficiency
· Cheaper: solar and wind
· Phased out: oil, nuclear
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"
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 worlds 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 peoples 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;
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!
"Poverty is pain; it feels like a
"Poverty is like heat you cannot see it, so to know
poverty you have to go through it"