Accessibility of energy

The Framework recognises that wider access to reliable, affordable and socially acceptable energy services is a prerequisite for meeting the challenge of the Millennium Development Goal109 of halving the proportion of people living on less than US$1 a day by 2015. Here the greatest challenge exists in rural areas and increasingly in large poor communities that live within the margins of cities. Rural development should be the overall priority in meeting the access challenge and should focus on: increasing investments; deploying decentralised energy systems using conventional and renewable energy sources; promoting local energy entrepreneurs; establishing financial mechanisms; and strengthening policies and regulatory systems to expand the level of energy services.

The Framework recognises that there are considerable institutional impediments to achieving this goal including declining official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries. Also, in the face of macroeconomic reform, public-sector investment in expanding energy services is difficult to provide.

106 A/CONF/L/6/Rev.2. See <http://www.un.org/esa/ sustdev/documents/WSSD-POI-PD/English/ WSSD_PlanImpl.pdf> (accessed 16 January 2005).

107 See WEHAB Working Group, A Framework for Action on Energy.

108 See A Bradbrook and J Gardam, 'Placing the Access to Energy Within the Human Rights Framework' (2006) Human Rights Quarterly (forthcoming).

109 Available at <http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/> (accessed 16 February 2005).

Consequently, the Framework emphasises the fact that new methods of public/private cooperation are necessary to attract private-sector investment.

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