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Energy marginalisation

We need to ensure no one is left behind in the energy transition and that all communities receive fair, respectful, and equitable support.

Our mission involves tackling the urgent challenges posed by climate change, physical geography and socio-economic vulnerability by reducing energy marginalisation. We are dedicated to seamlessly integrating energy system decarbonisation, enhancing human well-being, and fostering positive environmental impact, thus realising an equitable energy transition.

The clean energy transition is an opportunity for developing countries to accelerate access to clean and affordable energy, decarbonise their energy systems and help to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Figure 1: Access to clean cooking and electricity by country classification (World Bank Data, 2021)

Energy access contributes to improved welfare, social inclusion, and environmental protection. As evidenced by Figure 1, the countries with lowest energy access are affected by conflicts, are the least economically developed and are heavily indebted. Not surprisingly, many countries in these three groups overlap. For example, many of the conflict affected countries are also the least developed countries.

Within such heterogeneous contexts, social stratification becomes inevitable. This results in some households being more privileged than others in terms of access to clean and affordable energy within the same geography. For instance, certain households may reside in areas where most of their neighbours utilise clean fuels, yet they lack access to clean cooking fuel, due to having limited disposable incomes, as is often the case in urban slums1. Furthermore, spatial dimensions of deprivation are often compounded with socio-economic factors to create multi-dimensional energy deprivation.

Moving away from dung-cakes as fuel

Another vulnerable group may rely on dung cakes for cooking in forest-depleted areas of the Global South. Faced with diminishing forests and low income, these households use dung cake and agricultural waste to create fuel for cooking.