Energy access – the so-called ‘Missed Millennium Development Goal’, is considered a fundamental driver of economic and social development. It is a key condition to guarantee access to clean water, sanitation, schooling and business in developing countries. In the words of UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, "Universal energy access is a key priority on the global development agenda. It is a foundation for all the Millennium Development Goals".

Energy poverty involves a large proportion of the global population, mainly concentrated in developing countries and in Sub-Saharan Africa. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that currently 1.26 billion people (20% of worldwide population) lack access to electricity and 2.6 billion (38% of global population) rely on traditional cooking methods based on the use of biomass with severe consequences on health due to indoor air pollution (IEA, 2010). The international community is committed to solve the problem of energy poverty: ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ (SEFA) is the program launched by the United Nations in 2012, as one of the main results of the Rio+20 Conference. Its goal is to assure universal access to modern and sustainable energy by 2030, improving the rate of renewables in the energy mix and promoting energy efficiency. SEFA states clearly that the cooperation among research, private and public sector is the key to achieve this goal.

Despite this praise for action, it is still however unclear which public and private initiatives and policy design can be used to best attain the goals of energy poverty eradication. For this reason and with the aim to generate new insights and concrete policy recommendations, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (FGF) within the LabExpo Project, in collaboration with eni, are organizing on July, 10, 2014 a workshop on “Energy Poverty and Energy Access: Global Challenges and Goals”, gathering together representatives from the academia, international organizations, corporate institutions and industry.

Objectives of the debate will be (i) understanding the impact of access to modern energy services on household welfare, labor market outcomes and business activity, and (ii) identifying the best ways to implement effective policies and interventions, energy being a prerequisite for the protection and promotion of human rights.

The workshop will be divided in two main sessions. During the first session, outstanding representatives from the academia and researchers in the field of development economics will provide an overview of the energy poverty issue, coupled with rigorous empirical assessments of the effects of energy access and on the limit of implementation strategies in developing countries. During the second session, institutional and business delegates will present goals, initiatives and best practices already in place at the global level, trying to identify the most important challenges and possible solutions arising from the cooperation of different actors such as NGOs, international agencies and corporate institutions.

Keynote speakers will include, among others:

  • Carlo Carraro, Università Ca' Foscari and FEEM
  • Ujjayant Chakravorty, Tufts University 
  • Jacopo Bonan, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and LabExpo
  • Lucius Mayer-Tasch, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammen arbeit (GIZ)
  • Stephen O’Connell, City University of New York
  • Shonali Pachauri, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • Stefano Pareglio, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and coordinator of LabExpo
  • Alberto Piatti, President, Fondazione AVSI
  • Pippo Ranci, President, WAME & Expo 2015 and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • Sabina Ratti, Sustainability Senior Vice President eni
  • Hussain A. Samad, The World Bank

Working languages English and Italian.