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IEA, UNDP and UNIDO Release Energy Poverty Report

21 September 2010: In cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Energy Agency (IEA) has released an early excerpt of its forthcoming World Energy Outlook, titled "Energy Poverty: How to make modern energy access universal?"

Noting that over 1.4 billion people currently lack access to electricity, and calling the current situation "shameful and unacceptable," the report discusses and justifies the need to improve energy access and reduce energy poverty on health, environmental, and economic development grounds. It indicates that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and specifically the goal to halve extreme poverty by 2015, cannot be achieved without new policies specifically designed to address energy poverty.

Geared towards policy makers, the report quantifies the investment costs required to close the energy access gap completely, which it estimates to be US$36 billion per year globally until 2030, or 3% of estimated future annual global energy investments. Broken down into categories, the report specifically discusses investment needs to achieve universal access to modern energy services and clean cooking facilities. The report also introduces a new tool to help measure progress on energy poverty, the Energy Development Index, which mirrors the UNDP'S Human Development Index. The report was released at a side event held on 21 September 2010, during the MDG Summit in New York, US. [Report Website]