KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 14): This year’s Energizing Finance research series — developed by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) in partnership with Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) and Dalberg Advisors — shows the world is falling perilously short of the investment required to achieve energy access for all by 2030 for the seventh consecutive year.

In fact, tracked finance for electricity in the 20 countries that make up 80% of the world’s population without electricity — the high-impact countries — declined by 27% in 2019, the year before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The economic strain caused by Covid-19 is expected to have caused even further reductions in energy access investment in 2020 and 2021, according to a statement.

Energizing Finance: Understanding the Landscape 2021, one of two reports released under the series, finds committed finance for residential electricity access fell to US$12.9 billion in 2019 (from US$16.1 billion in 2018) in the 20 countries.

This is less than one-third of the US$41 billion estimated annual investment needed globally to attain universal electricity access from 2019 to 2030.

Meanwhile, there is an abysmal amount of finance for clean cooking. Despite polluting cooking fuels causing millions of premature deaths each year and being the second largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide, only US$133.5 million in finance for clean cooking solutions was tracked in 2019.

This is nowhere near the estimated US$4.5 billion in annual investment required to achieve universal access to clean cooking (accounting only for clean cookstove costs).

These findings have been released just ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, where global leaders will focus on how to spark meaningful progress on fighting climate change.

As part of this, they will need to consider how to reduce global emissions from the energy sector, while also increasing energy access in developing countries to support their economic development.

SEforALL is an international organisation that works to ensure a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind and brings new opportunities for everyone to fulfill their potential.

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