Alleviation Of Poverty Through Energy Access

Posted on December 4, 2010 in Specials

By Ajay Rana:

The Energy-Poverty-Environment Nexus on Earth

We all continuously need energy to work and progress. Energy is flowing through the earth natural and man made systems in many different forms and harnessing of efficient energy from the flow is the target for development and sustenance of happy human life on earth at present scenario. Population explosion has surged the consumption of the available resources on earth to extinction. The environment is being affected by its colossal degradation and dramatic climate change. The non-renewable resources are being consumed at an increasing pace and deterring consequences. This result is the creation of waste, pollution and poverty with money being concentrated in the few smart people who are involved in controlling the money-flow. More than 1 billion people live below poverty line with less than $1.25 a day. Two-thirds of the poor people live in rural areas. Deforestation, high carbon emissions from burning of wood and coal in villages, oil burning, non-biodegradable waste etc not only killing the ecosystem but continuously changing the climate. Nonetheless, the immediate people who are affected and will be in immense loss are the poor people. The global warming will affect the low lying areas of the coastal region near to the sea. To save our earth from destruction, we need to come out of ignorance, try to understand the problem at hand and fight for the solution at a global level. How to utilize the resources available with us in an environment friendly way for the eradication of poverty can be dealt altogether at a single junction for the longevity of the people and the planet earth.

Mitigating climate change, increasing energy access, and alleviating rural poverty can all be complementary

Increased access to energy services alone will not eradicate poverty, but it can have immediate effects. More than 1.5 billion people live without access to electricity, another billion only have access to unreliable electricity, and close to half the global population depends on traditional biomass fuels for cooking and heating. Energy poverty results in unmet basic needs and depressed economic and educational opportunities that are particularly pervasive among women, children, and minorities. Electricity catalyzes rural economic activity and increases the quality of services available to meet basic business and domestic needs through improved lighting, labor-saving devices, and access to information through TV, radio, and cellular telephones. Provision of high quality public lighting can increase security and improve delivery of health and education services.

Community Level Programs to sort out the global problems

The global problem of poverty and climate change has to be fought at local level i.e. communities should be listed in terms of the priorities of the problem and then according to the problem of the community, a panel should be drafted by an expert to solve the problem at that locality. Community-level carbon abatement program should be propagated in rural areas which creates opportunities for increased access to clean, efficient energy for the poor. It not only improves the efficiency of solving the problem by division of labor but also teaches the discipline to live in the continuously changing world. Continued development of methods of analysis, and interventions based on those analyses, is needed to allow us to reduce poverty while also confronting climate change.


We need to survive, grow, progress and wish to see all people happy around us. Therefore we have to use the energy available in different forms of the resources and create access to it to meet the need of the growing demand of the increasing population. The strategy should be to drive the resources in control and divert it to the urgent need, to the deprived community and such as to end the huge disparity between rich and poor. At the same time we have to reduce the carbon content of the atmosphere and look for go green technology.

The poor should be taught about the environment damage from burning of high carbon content natural fuels like coal and wood which has unending devastating results like deforestation, air pollution and global warming. Every dollar spent on the transition to more efficient low-carbon energy systems in rural areas has the potential to produce greater human development, savings, and carbon  mitigation returns than in more industrialized areas. Access to solar energy devices or petroleum gas with low carbon emission and high efficiency of heating can be a better alternative for their safe ambience and perseverance of future generations.

A final word to all: Save Energy, Save Poor and Save Earth.

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