What is energy poverty?



“Billions of people continue to be without basic modern energy services, lacking access to either electricity or clean cooking facilities. This situation is expected to change only a little by 2030 unless more vigorous action is taken”
International Energy Agency on Energy Access

In the modern world, energy is all around us. We use it to cook our food, heat our homes, charge our electronics and light our streets. Because we always have access to energy we often take it for granted.

Those who don’t have access to reliable and affordable energy sources are said to be “energy poor”. “Energy poverty” impacts one billion people worldwide, as their well-being is negatively affected by a low energy consumption, use of dirty or polluting fuels, and excessive time spent collecting fuel to meet basic needs.

According to the International Energy Agency, for people in developing countries, having access to energy is fundamental to reducing poverty and improving health, increasing productivity, enhancing competitiveness and promoting economic growth.

Because access to reliable and affordable energy is essential in the struggle against poverty, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on governments, businesses and civil society to achieve universal access to modern energy services by 2030 through their Sustainable Energy for All program.

If you want to learn more about the UN is doing to address this increasingly important issue, visit Sustainable Energy for All.


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Energy Matters

In the world's conversation about energy, one point is beyond debate: Energy makes a vital contribution to people's quality of life, to society and to human progress. This is true today, and it will remain true in the future. That's why Energy Matters was created. We believe it's important to equip people with unbiased information so they may form opinions, join the conversation and feel confidence in the work and accomplishments of the energy sector. Energy Matters is an initiative that provides transparent information and perspective on energy. Here, we'll cover a range of topics: the scale of global energy; the ways energy is sourced and produced; current energy technology; forthcoming innovations; the world's future energy needs; and the sustainable sources of energy that will fill them. Because energy matters to everyone, we hope you'll rely on Energy Matters as an ongoing source of balanced information.