Defeating Energy Poverty: Invest in Scalable Solutions for the Poor

Dan Kammen | Goldman School of Public Policy; Energy & Resources Group | Pontifical Academy of Sciences Press, 2020

Summary Energy poverty is arguably the most pervasive and crippling threat society faces today. Lack of access impacts several billion people, with immediate health, educational, economic, and social damage. Furthermore, how this problem is addressed will result in the largest accelerant of global pollution or the largest opportunity to pivot away from fossil fuels onto the needed clean energy path. In a clear example of the power of systems thinking, energy poverty and climate change together present a dual crisis of energy injustice along gender, ethnic, and socio- economic grounds, which has been exacerbated if not outright caused by a failure of the wealthy to see how tightly coupled our global collective fate is if addressing climate change fairly and inclusively does not become an immediate, actionable priority.