EU Ministers for Development Cooperation Discuss Access to Local Sustainable Energy Sources
30 January 2009: EU Ministers for Development Cooperation held an informal meeting from 29-30 January 2009, under the auspices of the Czech Presidency in Prague, Czech Republic. Ministers agreed that the EU's development aid should focus on Least Developed Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which will be hit particularly severely by the world economic slowdown.
Participants included Ministers for Development Cooperation of EU member States, European Commissioner Louis Michel and representatives of the European Parliament. Among the agenda items was access to sustainable sources of energy at the local level in developing countries. Yoshiteru Uramoto, Deputy Secretary-General of UN Industrial Development Organization, underscored that the energy crisis Europe faced in early January amounts to an everyday reality for almost two billion people living in poverty. Participants recognized the role decentralized energy sources, such as solar, wind or biomass energy, can play in geographically remote areas and discussed ways in which the EU might further support access to local sustainable sources of energy within the framework of the existing initiatives. [Meeting Website]