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Access to Energy

Access to modern, cleaner energy is essential to human development. The majority of the world’s energy poor are living in Asia and the Pacific. More than 700 million people in the region have no access to electricity and almost two billion people burn wood, dung, and crop waste to cook and to heat their homes.

Energy is crucial to the success of the Millennium Development Goals, and goals that will follow them after 2015. While no Millennium Development Goal focuses on energy, access to it underpins progress toward other goals. Affordable energy decreases poverty and improves quality of life. Modern energy also lifts the burden off women and children whose household responsibilities include spending hours collecting fuel and performing manual labor. Modern energy allows them to pursue more productive activities, and can open up opportunities for education.

Successful models for increasing energy access need to be replicated increased on a broader scale with the help of the private sector and development organizations.