“Sustainable Energy Strategies in Low and Middle-Income Economies: Blending technology, finance and policy beyond 2012” is the title of the conference organized in Milan, on November 22nd-23rd, by Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with the the International Centre for Science and High Technology (ICS) and the United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).Energy plays a fundamental role in shaping the human condition and is the key to socio-economic progress. The way most of the energy is currently produced and utilized is unsustainable and threatens the environment on both local and global scales. The lack of access to electricity and the reliance on traditional biomass as main source of energy hinder the path out of poverty for many people in developing countries.
The conference aimed at promoting a discussion on the key issues of energy access in low and middle income economies: which technologies need to be promoted? Which business models may contribute to the development of new inclusive energy markets? Which policies and institutions are needed to support new energy systems and promote production and consumption patterns that would foster sustainable energy access?
Alberto Piatti, AVSI Secretary-General, presented the experiences on energy efficiency in poor urban areas, in Brazil, and on the use of fuel efficient cookstoves, in Mozambique. “A strong alliance among private profit and non-profit actors, research institutes and public institutions is needed to face the threat of energy poverty and provide smart solutions tailored to the needs of different contexts. For this reason, NGOs can provide an added value in outlining new paths to improve energy access for about 2 billion people.
The challenge is about restoring what Pope Benedict XVI calls “the covenant between human beings and the environment”, without which the whole human family is destined to desappear. In a culture where this connection is spoilt and conflictual, a new creative relationship is needed.
Read more about AVSI’s experience in Brazil and Mozambique