Access to clean, modern, sustainable energy is critical for improving the health and livelihoods of billions of people around the world. There is growing evidence linking socioeconomic benefits with access to a reliable and affordable supply of energy. The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 focuses on a concerted global effort to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
At the same time, fossil fuels are being depleted at an ever-increasing rate. The extraction and consumption of oil, gas and coal is a key driver of climate change and leads to instability and degradation across the world.
Hivos believes that access to energy can alleviate poverty, improve living conditions and propel economic development, so we support NGOs in developing countries to increase the demand for (renewable) energy access in remote locations. We join forces with local organisations and entrepreneurs because we have seen that decentralised renewable energy systems, more reliant on small-scale generation from renewable energy sources, also allow consumers to become producers themselves, thus driving local economic development.
Energy investment decisions being taken in the coming decade will determine to a large extent the potential to manage human development, urbanization, and climate change until the end of the century. Will we choose for green and inclusive, or continue the historic trend of fossil fuel based, servicing only the new megacities?
Green and inclusive energy systems not only better meet the energy needs and reduce climate change, but also lead to improvements in family health, food supplies, income and opportunities for women, and allows them to participate more productively politically, socially and economically.