Conversations (2)

Imagine trying to care and provide for your family, or starting a new business venture, if you had no access whatsoever to electricity.

Many of these people live in developing economies, often in very small rural communities, and are still reliant for biomass, that is burning wood that they forage for, for cooking and cleaning.

How do we as a global community help to address this situation, and what should the role of the powerful energy industry be?

Thank you for the invitation to this debate on an important matter that touches upon different spheres like climate and development policy.

As Victoria said, the year 2015 was decisive for a higher global equality in living conditions and environmental justice since both the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate action were adopted. This shows both the responsibility and willingness of the global community to act on existing problems like lacking access to clean energy. The next step especially for the richer countries is now to stand by their word and implement the generic targets on the ground. The EU for example needs to integrate the SDGs and the Paris commitments into its climate and energy legislation. But more importantly, the developed countries need to fulfill their obligation for funding to build infrastructure in developing countries, like Victoria mentioned.

It is true that there are problems with the administration and distribution of funds, but new initiatives are often addressing these already. For example, during the UN climate conference in Marrakesh 40 developed and developing countries as well as organizations launched a global partnership that will tie countries closer together on the implementation of national climate plans and support developing countries in financial and technological terms. A secretariat is also put up for the partnership that shall help with the planning processes of clean energy projects.

I agree that relying on biomass will lock in further environmental problems in those regions. It is important that there is a diversity of energy sources. The solar power plant Ouarzazate in Morocco for example received support from EU and member states like Germany and has been the largest plant of this kind for some time.

Well the EU's level of commitment is somewhat surprising. Given that they want to be a "leader" translating the 40% target into the EU's INDC is a bit of a Cop-Out (pardon the pun ;) ). And with efficiency and renewables potentials we can easily go much further than 40%!

I'm optimistic because of what Renewables can do. Everywhere we see the price of PV falling and more and more citizens and communities investing in RES. Just look at Germany and Denmark.

As for world leaders in Paris.... I'm not holding my breath...