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Information for G03671

Background note for the High-level Event on Sustainable Energy for LDCs (New York, 23 September 2013)



Sustainable energy holds the key to resolving the two major challenges of our time, namely poverty and climate change. Many success-stories and best-practices of how this can be done are already readily available. These are inspiring and very promising for the future, and this event will hopefully highlight some of these stories.

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), Member States expressed their determination “to act to make sustainable energy for all a reality and, through this, help to eradicate poverty and lead to sustainable development and global prosperity”. The commitments expressed in Rio+20 are most critical in the context of the least developed countries (LDCs), which constitute the poorest and most vulnerable group of countries in the world.

Out of the 1.3 billion people who do not have access to electricity, more than half live in the least developed countries. Currently, 79% of people in LDCs lack access to electricity and 91% of people lack access to modern fuels. In LDCs, only 27% of urban dwellers have access to modern fuels, while a mere 3% of rural dwellers have access. These rates are much lower than for other developing countries, and demonstrate the large “energy gap” faced by LDCs.

This paper aims to inform deliberations at the High-level Event on Sustainable Energy for LDCs.

This paper relates to our work on the MDGs/SDGs and the post-2015 agenda

Publication information

  • IIED code: G03671
  • Published: Sep 2013 - UN-OHRLLS
  • Theme: Energy
  • Language: English

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