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Shaping a global goal on energy access that leaves no one behind

Sarah Best

Briefing, 4 pages

Energy features strongly in discussions about a post-2015 development framework. Energy poverty puts huge constraints on human and economic development. Negotiating the content of an energy goal could be politically contentious, giving rise to polarisations that stymie debate: centralised, large-scale projects versus decentralised, small-scale ones; renewables versus fossil fuels; public versus private provisioning; the responsibilities of the rich versus the needs of people living in poverty. This briefing draws on research by IIED and others to suggest priorities for achieving universal energy access. It proposes that post-2015 energy ambitions go beyond meeting people’s ‘basic survival needs’, and instead be centred on energy needs in a way that will help reduce poverty and improve livelihoods, particularly in rural communities. To date, this has been a classic blind spot for energy policymakers and the market.

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