Energy Governance and Poverty


Year of publication: 2014
Author(s): Morgan Bazilian, Smita Nakhooda, Thijs Van de Graaf
Appeared in: Energy Research & Social Science, vol.: 1, issue: 1, 217-225



There is a growing literature examining global energy governance that recognises the importance of actors, institutions, and processes in addressing diverse challenges including security, climate change and environmental sustainability. But there has been a more limited focus on the issue from the perspective of the poor. This omission is significant in view of the sheer scale of energy service deprivation – billions of people still lack access to modern energy services with consequences for economic development, health, education, environment, and gender equality. We briefly examine how elements of the issue of energy poverty are governed across different scales (global, regional, and local), and how effectively these energy governance systems are addressing the needs of the poor. Focusing primarily on sub-Saharan Africa – due to the pervasive energy governance challenges in the region – we consider the role for both governments and the international community in strengthening related tools, regulatory environments and institutions.