Governing ‘Energy for All’

Event Date: 
February 1, 2013 - 11:00am
The Brookings Institution | Washington, D.C.

On February 1, Climate & Energy Director Alexander Ochs will participate in the Governing "Energy for All" Conference at the Brookings Institution. He will participate in a working group examining how emerging economies can transition to renewable energy systems while withstanding the fluctuations of global energy markets. 

About the Governing "Energy for All" Conference 

It is access to modern energy that discriminates between social development and stagnation, between economic opportunities in rural areas and migration pressure, and between local stability and vulnerability. Since the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and the Rio+20 UN conference, energy access is increasingly acknowledged as a key ingredient for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, fostering regional stability and mitigating climate change. The energy poverty paradigm, however, is complex and involves multifaceted aspects at the local, national and global levels. The unique challenge is to harmonize interests and to orchestrate initiatives by closing the governance gaps that prevent the realization of tangible results on a larger scale.

This high-level conference will provide a platform for addressing a number of crucial issues in the debate on energy access, following three key “red threads” from a global public policy and transatlantic standpoint:

  • The development obstacles preventing effective rural electrification.
  • The sectoral opportunities of renewable energy industries and financial instruments required to mobilize the private sector.
  • The overall public policy needs to reduce vulnerability of developing countries and enhance regional stability.

The conference will explore and discuss these issues by addressing the following key questions:

  • Which approaches have proven successful in assisting developing countries in the creation of frameworks and governance mechanisms for ensuring energy access, particularly to rural households?
  • How can global public policy, financial industries and climate finance mobilize private sector investments in clean energy supply in developing countries?
  • What can be done to increase resilience of energy systems in developing countries while mitigating the impacts of volatile energy markets?

About the Towards a Global Environmental Energy Transition for Stability Working Group

In the process of rural energy supply, often times political short-term interests contrast with the technical-economical rationality of energy systems. Developing countries need to adopt strategies that prevent them from running into debt-traps of retail subsidies and simultaneously protect their people from the impacts of volatile energy markets. How can the transition to sustainable energy in poor and developing countries be promoted given the challenging circumstances? What can the EU and the US do to assist their partners in this process?

  • Introduction: Matthew Sohm, Strategy Analyst, Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII)
  • Commentator: Alexander Ochs, Climate & Energy Director, Worldwatch Institute