Vienna,16-17 November 2011
AFED in Energy Poverty Symposium

Global initiatives and regional cooperation to eradicate energy poverty were the subject of a symposium held at the Headquarters of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) in Vienna on 16-17 November. Organized by OFID and the International Energy Forum (IEF), the meeting discussed ways to secure access to energy to over 2.5 billion people who still lack reliable supplies of fuels for cooking and heating, and 1.5 billion people without access to electricity. This causes health, social and environmental stress. The high-level meeting, attended by 100 delegates from various sectors, discussed ways of achieving universal access to energy by 2030, experiences to alleviate energy poverty, and financing energy access to the poor. Suleiman Al-Herbish, OFID’s Director General and member of AFED’s Board of Trustees, reiterated his call to include eradication of energy poverty as the 9th item of the Millennium Development Goals.

AFED’s Secretary General, Najib Saab, warned against using eradication of energy poverty as a pretext to use polluting fuels and technologies, calling for promoting efficiency and cleaner use of fossil fuels, in addition to renewable sources of energy.