By Emily Haves, Ashden International Programme Officer
Blog posts tagged with 'poverty reduction'
By Emily Haves, Ashden Research Programme Coordinator
Energy access is an increasingly hot topic in development circles, but what does it actually mean? We talk about it as if it’s a binary state – either you have it, or you don’t – but is this helpful? And how much is enough?
In many countries, kerosene prices keep on rising. In April alone Nairobi in Kenya saw a 4.4% jump in price. For many poorer people, who rely on kerosene for light and heat, this makes a huge difference, and protests over fuel prices show the anger and despair felt by many.
Harish Hande, co-founder of SELCO-India, which won Ashden's Outstanding Achievement Award in 2007, has blogged on the increasing disparity between rich and poor in India, and the crucial role for energy in taking people out of poverty.
GERES argues that because communities in the most vulnerable countries of the South have very low levels of CO2 emissions, they cannot take advantage of CDM funding.
If carbon-sparing technological solutions were introduced, these same communities could, however, benefit from better access to energy services, lighting and drinking water, while maintaining a constant emission level.
Swan Fauveaud, manager of the GERES Climate Change Unit, gives this example of the "vicious circle" at work.
In Ladakh, the introduction of passive solar greenhouses and better home insulation can raise the indoor temperature by 15 degrees celsius. According to current CDM accounting standards, this type of activity does not result in any eligible emission reductions because villagers living in poverty cannot afford to heat their homes. That's one of the paradoxes of the CDM!
pic: A woman in Ladakh harvests fresh produce in a solar greenhouse
Martin, an Ashden Awards judge, says there's no reason you can't tackle climate change and energy poverty simultaneously.
Indeed, you will struggle to do one without the other. Pretty much every energy technology which helps lift people out of poverty – clean, efficient cookstoves; clear bright solar lights; and, in the developed north, a crash programme of energy efficiency for vulnerable homes – will also cut carbon emissions.
The winner will be announced by HE Kofi Annan at the award ceremony in Paris on 17 March 2011. The shortlist was chosen by an independent jury from submissions by over 450 photographers.
The eight-member jury is chaired by Professor Sir David King, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at Oxford and an Ashden Advocate. Today's statement said the jury looked for photographic series of the highest artistic merit
that also presented a convincing narrative about the critical issues of sustainability and in particular, the theme of Growth. Growth, which lifts countless millions out of poverty, also has a huge and potentially unsustainable environmental cost. It presents one of the great conundrums facing humanity in the early decades of the twenty-first century.
Sir David said, "Any one of these twelve artists would be a worthy winner."
The event will be held at: The Carpenters Arms Pub, 12 Seymour Place (Marylebone), London, W1H 7NA Time: 18.30-20.30 Admission is free. The event is hosted by HEDON's London RIG. More information.
See also on this blog:
Prospects Rise for Clean Cooking in Poor Places (New York Times)
Clinton unveils U.S. funds for clean cookstove push (Reuters)
Secretary of State Clinton announces global cookstove initiative (Nature)
Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from around the world to post about the same issue on the same day "with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action".
Last year 13,606 bloggers from 156 countries joined in the conversation about climate change.
We'll be blogging news on October 15 about Ashden Awards winners, such as: IDEI, CRELUZ, Practical Action and AIDFI (currently nominated for World Challenge award).