Today the developing countries are under a lot of pressure:
- The increase in the price of oil and the resulting consequences on economic and social planning.
- The impact of climate change for which the countries of the South are not prepared;
- The globalization of the stock market, which represents fantastic opportunities for the rich countries and emerging nations, but which weakens to breaking point the so called LACs (least advanced countries).
Faced with these constraints and based on the understanding that an improvement in living conditions is not possible without having lasting access to energy, the development of new energy sources and the better use of the existing ones are necessary in developing countries.
For 3 billion people in the world, the primary source of energy is fire wood.
GERES has 6 development priorities for the countries of the South:
- To gain access to energy to achieve self sufficiency in food. Modern sources of energy allow countries to transform and preserve agricultural products.
- To improve the use of energy from forests to preserve natural resources. Wood is the energy of the poor and often represents more than 80% of the energy audit of developing countries, contributing to massive deforestation. Promoting the efficient use of energy from wood and supporting the sustainable management of forests, are priorities. Wood has to be considered a precious resource as it is in rich countries.
- To use solar energy to stop the drift away from the land in mountain areas. In areas where climatic conditions are extreme, renewable energies are an essential asset to improve the thermal comfort of buildings, to develop cottage-based income generating activities. (Winter gardening under solar greenhouses, bioclimatic hen-houses and sheepfolds, mechanization of manual tasks).
- Developing agro-fuels in rural areas to acquire energy self-sufficiency. To use farmland to export "green" fuels to Europe should be banned. But on the other hand, supporting the development of local production, on a small scale, and respecting food and environmental priorities, helps to reduce energy shortages and to strengthen farming.
- Integrating energy efficiency and renewable energy in the reconstruction process in countries emerging from crisis or natural disaster. Reconstruction is a phase that must include strong energy saving practices and so promote good habits.
- Promoting energy control to improve the living conditions of marginalized urban families. The cost of electricity, gas and oil is almost the same in the rich and the poor countries. The inescapable increase in their cost weighs heavily on the majority of household budgets.
Capitalization of Experience
Energy issues in development projects have been ignored for a long time. In order to take advantage of proven solutions and share the risks of new ideas, GERES is committed to a process of exchanging and sharing experiences: technical publications, popularization of energy issues in Africa, capitalizing on the best practices in energy, climate and development.
For further information go to GERES site: www.geres.eu
Guide to Climate-Energy-Development Best Practices
Developed by GERES, the "Guide to Climate-Energy-Development Best Practices" offers an overview of good technologies and approaches that combine development and combating climate change. The projects examined relate to energy efficiency, control over the demand for energy, renewable energies, the valuing of waste, sustainable farming practices and the fight against deforestation.
This guide classifies the priorities for action. It explains the issues connected to the impact on the climate and the different methods of financing. For this reason, it is a concrete tool for development agencies.
The guide is available for sale, in Northern countries, for the price of 25 €. It is free to development agencies in countries of the South. For further information, please contact us.
Download the file presenting the guide