Belfer Center Home > Publications > Academic Papers & Reports > Journal Articles > Alleviating Energy Poverty for the World's Poor

EmailEmail   PrintPrint Bookmark and Share


"Alleviating Energy Poverty for the World's Poor"

Journal Article, Energy Policy, volume 33, issue 11, pages 1367-1372

July 2005

Author: Ambuj D. Sagar, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Science, Technology, and Public Policy; Energy Technology Innovation Policy



Improving energy services for poor households in developing countries remains one of the most pressing challenges facing the development community. The dependence of these households on traditional forms of energy leads to significant health impacts as well as other major disbenefits, yet there has been little progress in meeting this challenge. This viewpoint argues for an ‘energy poverty alleviation’ fund to help provide modern energy services to these households. It also proposes an approach through which to create such a fund, namely by introducing an incremental levy on petroleum. Notably, this scheme does not need a global agreement since a levy could be introduced by major oil-exporting countries. The implementation of this mechanism would result in a climate friendly outcome (even before taking into account the elimination of products of incomplete combustion resulting from the traditional household use of biomass-based fuels) while providing immense socio-economic benefits to the world’s poor. Such an approach would allow significant progress on the sustainable development front while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore is very much consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Reprinted from Energy Policy, Sagar, Ambuj, "Alleviating Energy Poverty for the World's Poor", with permission from Elsevier.


For more information about this publication please contact the ETIP Coordinator at 617-496-5584.

For Academic Citation:

Sagar, Ambuj. "Alleviating Energy Poverty for the World's Poor." Energy Policy 33, no. 11 (July 2005): 1367-1372.

Bookmark and Share

"Technology Innovation and Energy"
By Kavita Surana, Ananth Chikkatur and Ambuj D. Sagar

"Symposium 2006: Climate Change, Energy, and Developing Countries"
By Ambuj D. Sagar, Hongyan He Oliver and Ananth Chikkatur

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.