VIENNA, Jun 26 (IPS)
While industrialised countries struggle to switch from climate-damaging, carbon-based energy to greener energy sources, much of the world is desperately energy poor, with 1.6 billion people having no access to electricity and 2.4 billion relying on wood and dung for heat and cooking.
“Over 1.6 million deaths a year are attributed to indoor use of biomass for cooking and heating,” Kandeh Yumkella, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), told more than 600 participants from 80 countries at the Vienna Energy Conference this week in Austria’s capital city.
The conference concluded with a recommendation to create a 20-year plan to end energy poverty by 2030.
Women and children in many parts of the world have little choice but to spend hours each day in search of firewood, trapped in a vicious cycle of deforestation that increases erosion and reduces the fertility of their land. “Energy interacts with all of the development challenges we face,” said Yumkella.
The developing world – and especially those without access to electricity – must be part of the new green energy revolution, he said. “We can’t leave people out. We must have climate justice and energy justice,” he told IPS in an interview.
For complete story see Green Energy for All by 2030?