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Access to Energy for the Poor: The Clean Energy Option

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Elizabeth Bast, Srinivas Krishnaswamy
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This report advocates that moving global energy use towards clean energy pathways – energy that is truly clean, renewable, and safe, and not just less dirty – is critical for the poor because these sources of energy protect the environment and natural resources locally and do not compromise public health. A clean energy transition is also critical to limiting the most severe impacts of climate change, which will disproportionately affect the poor. Clean energy technologies include zero- or low-carbon technologies with greenhouse gas emissions an order of magnitude lower than conventional alternatives that do not have additional adverse social and environmental impacts through their lifecycles. Transmission and distribution and energy policies must support these source technologies to support a true clean energy transition.