The world is in the grips of a climate crisis driven by greenhouse gas emissions, of which the largest single source is the energy sector. Any successful global effort to mitigate climate change will require a drastic cut in emissions from energy. This can be achieved by a shift to renewables and a reduction in energy consumption.
Environmental and other non-governmental organizations have been pushing for such policies for decades. While a shift to renewable energy must happen across the board, it is critical that in undertaking such a transformation, global inequalities in energy consumption are taken into account.
Most people in developed countries – in particular the United States – consume large and arguably excessive amounts of energy on a daily basis. Many people in poorer countries have the opposite problem: underconsumption of energy.
These are people living in energy poverty, without access to sufficient energy for basic needs and services, much less a minimum level of entertainment or luxury that most would consider inherent to a dignified and fulfilling life.
This report, authored with ActionAid USA and Women’s Environment & Development Organization looks at how address energy poverty while cutting carbon emissions.