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UNDP, IEA and WHO Report Underlines Need for Climate Change Agreement to Address Energy Poverty

Undp Logo23 November 2009: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with the support of the International Energy Agency (IEA), have released a new report titled "The Energy Access Situation in Developing Countries: A Review Focusing on the Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa." The report indicates that over 1.5 billion people currently lack access to electricity.

At the launch of the publication at UN Headquarters in New York, US, Olav Kjorven, Assistant Administrator and Director of Development Policy at UNDP, highlighted the need to ensure that any new climate agreement adequately addresses energy poverty. Noting that over three billion people rely on highly polluting solid fuels for cooking, he stated that "For a climate deal to work, it also has to be a development deal." IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol added that improving energy access for the disenfranchised would not have a significant impact on the environment, citing a recent study that found that if everyone in the world got access to electricity, carbon dioxide emissions would rise by only 0.9%.[UN Press Conference Transcript][UNDP Press Release][The Report]