We have a serious issue on our hands. By 2030 it is estimated that this issue will cause more deaths than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS around the world. This issue is called energy poverty. Lack of adequate energy and electricity leads to deaths related to toxic smoke, indoor fires from unsafe cooking, and lung and heart diseases from being forced to burn crop waste, wood, or dung on open flames in order to cook. The good news is that this issue is resolvable.
The UN has a plan to help the 3 billion people who suffer from energy poverty and it would be simple and not be a huge financial burden if the world takes the problem on together. It would require 0.06 percent of the global GDP over the next five years. By the year 2030 the global electricity generation would be less than 3% higher, the demand for oil will rise less than 1% and carbon emissions will be less than that. The issue is getting everyone to buy in.
The UN has requested that nations set aside jus 70 cents of every $100 dollars of GDP. The problem is that only five European countries meet that level of giving. And the United States gives no more than 20 cents per $100 of GDP. This is something that can and should be changed. We have the privilege of living in a country where we can make our voices heard without fear of imprisonment or worse. We should exercise those voices and make energy poverty a priority. We have the ability and opportunity to help save billions of lives by making this an important issue for the United States.
To put things into perspective, it has been calculated by the IEA that it would take 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually to provide the basic energy needs per person. An average United Stated three-person household uses 11,040 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. It’s time we help bring the issue to light so that we can save someone’s life.
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