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Saturday, December 3, 2016
G8 summit: what does energy security mean to the world's poor?
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¬†This year's St Petersburg G8 summit , which concludes today, has focussed much discussion on energy security, a phrase coined by rich countries to describe the political and economic threats to the supply of their economic lifeblood ≠ fossil fuel. But what does this mean for world's poorest nations and what impact will it have on climate change? Russia, host of the current G8 summit and G8 chair, has natural gas in abundance, and is keen to attract financial support from other G8 countries to ensure a secure supply of liquefied natural gas to the West. Its seven counterparts ≠ the US, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Italy ≠ are keen to ensure that they do not yet have to wean themselves off fossil fuel. Yet for one-third of the world's population ≠ the poorest third ≠ this discussion is almost completely irrelevant. These people live beyond the reach of national electricity grids, without modern forms of energy. Ironically, it is these people who are also most vulnerable. They have no energy security, and their lives and livelihoods are threatened by climate change, as people in the rich world continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, making the world's climate increasingly unstable. Poor people in developing nations need cheap, reliable and sustainable energy, and they need to have control over it. Renewable energy technology is already capable of meeting their needs and likely to improve still further. But this year's summit appears likely to be dominated by debate about shoring up supplies of oil, gas and coal, so that rich consumers and companies in G8 countries can continue to burn them unchecked. This will wreak climate chaos across the globe ≠ especially in poor countries ≠ and will do little to address the energy poverty of many of those who will suffer most. Source: Christian Aid
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