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OpenAccess Energy Contributors Lead Call for SE4All to Make Energy Equity Core To Its Mandate

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The need to establish equity at the core of international efforts to deliver universal energy access was among the recommendations made at Waterloo Global Science Initiative’s (WGSI) OpenAccess Energy Summit – a gathering of researchers, practitioners, representatives of Canada’s First Nations and energy-isolated communities, lawyers, government advisors and financiers – which took place April 24-27, 2016 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

To address this, contributors to the Summit have authored this letter for submission to the UN's SE4All Advisory Board and Global Facilitation Team in advance of their Fifth Annual meeting which will take place June 15-16, 2016.

Thank you to the 262 individuals and 67 organizations representing 55 countries who have added your support to this letter.

WGSI is serving as the communication partner for this campaign. Inquires can be directed to [email protected].

Dear SE4All Advisory Board and Global Facilitation Team,

During these final weeks of SE4All's strategy development process, you are undoubtedly intensely focused on designing a process for ensuring SE4All can successfully facilitate the global community’s aspirations to achieve SDG 7, which will in turn radically increase the chances of achieving all other SDGs by 2030. While recognizing the already challenging nature of this task, we the undersigned organizations, companies, institutions and individuals want to stress the importance of SE4All viewing its mission as not just getting the job done, but getting the job done right.

Getting the job done right requires addressing the needs of the poorest energy consumers first. As we transition the global energy system to renewables, we cannot continue to leave a fifth of the world’s people behind, forced by decision makers to live without quality electricity services while waiting for years or even decades for slow, expensive grids to arrive. Similarly we cannot leave roughly 40% of the world’s people using dirty fuels to meet that most basic of energy needs, cooking. The failure of current efforts to end energy poverty can be seen not only in the developing world, but also in energy isolated communities within developed nations. The problem is one of inequitability in energy planning and investment at all levels, and will not change unless we make it change.

This is largely due to a lack of consideration for poor and otherwise disenfranchised individuals and communities as energy consumers. Important steps have been taken to provide more support to energy policy and investment planners at various levels of governance to address this problem. This includes the establishment of the SE4All Global Tracking Framework to encourage key decision-makers to explicitly consider the energy needs of the poor and avoid metrics that obscure the inequity of the current system. Unfortunately, simple metrics like the number of electrified households still dominate energy policy planning; this simplicity leads to favoring simple solutions, including an undue focus on grid extension. Such an inequitable approach to energy access fails to capitalize on the transformative potential of energy and does not get the job done right. An aggressive and direct campaign is needed to support policy-makers in putting the energy poor constituents that they serve at the heart of energy planning processes.

We therefore call upon SE4All’s Global Facilitation Team, the SE4All Advisory Board and the SE4All Access Committee to adopt as core to their respective mandates, the responsibility to work with keystone actors and others specifically on:

  • Bringing the importance of equitability, equity, quality and speed of progress on energy access into all aspects of their energy-related work on their own terms (e.g. the financial arguments for financiers, economic arguments for firms and utilities, nexus arguments for donors, etc.)
  • Monitoring, together with ESMAP and the GTF team, not only the quality through the GTF tiers of access, but also the equitability, equity and speed of progress to particularly to vulnerable and otherwise disadvantaged groups;
  • To nominate or create a responsible body within SE4All (for example the Access Committee or a new ‘Global Council on Equitable Energy Access’) that supports the streamlining of equitable access considerations into energy sector decision-making processes. This body should be composed of representatives from the existing committees and other key actors to ensure that all efforts to bring people access to energy are accountable to the principle of equity.

We consider these points to be of the utmost importance and are keen to work together with SE4All and others to ensure that they can be realized as soon as possible.

Many kind regards,

The undersigned

OpenAccess Energy Contributors & WGSI Team

Peju Adeosun, United Kingdom
Nkiruka Avila, UC Berkeley*, USA
Theodore Blackbird-John, TREC Education*, Turtle Island
Tom Brzustowski, Waterloo Global Science Initiative Board of Directors
Arthur Carty, Waterloo Global Initiative Board of Directors, Canada
Anna Clements, University of Oxford*, United Kingdom 
George Colgate, Xeni Gwet'in First Nations Government, Canada
Hang Dao, University of Lisbon*, Vietnam
Michael Duschenes, Waterloo Global Science Initiative Board of Directors, Canada  
Feridun Hamdullahpur, Waterloo Global Science Initiative Board of Directors
Joachim Knebel, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Aaron Leopold, Practical Action, United Kingdom
Daria Malyutina, OutSmart*, Russia/Germany
Yuri Rugai Marinho, Eccon Soluções Ambientais, Brazil
Chiedza Mazaiwana, Practical Action, Zimbabwe
Fred McBagonluri, Ghana
Eli Mitchell-Larson, SunFarmer, USA 
Nigel Moore, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Canada
Jatin Nathwani, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Canada 
Elias Ntungwe Ngalame, Journalist (Thomson Reuters Foundation, Discourse Media Fellow), Cameroon
Crystal Okudo, Greenmax Capital Advisors*, Kenya
Fabiola Ortiz dos Santos, Journalist, Brazil
Ortwin Renn, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies*, Germany
Hayley Rutherford, Waterloo Global Science Initiative, Canada
Vagish Sharma, India Eryn Stewart, Lumos Energy*, Canada
Neil Turok, Waterloo Global Science Initiative Board of Directors, Canada
Julie Wright, Waterloo Global Science Initiative, Canada
Billy Yarro, Practical Action, Senegal/Cameroon
Hisham Zerriffi, University of British Columbia*, Canada

*Organization listed for affiliation purposes only and does not represent endorsement of the organization  
Paul Acchione, MIDAC Corp*, Canada  

Elham Akhavan Rezai, University of Waterloo*, Canada  

Esther Olubukola Adedeji, Citygreen Solution*, Nigeria

Manal Hamed Alkhalifa, Practical Action, Sudan

Mary Allen, Senegal

Vishwa Bhushan Amatya, Practical Action, Nepal

Colin Andersen, Energy Council of Canada*, Canada

Debbie Anderson,, Canada

Miguel Anjos, Polytechnique Montreal*, Canada

Marlene Susana Arrechea Alvarado, University of San Carlos of Guatemala*, Guatemala

Goutam Aryabhusan, Practical Action, India

Rob Bailis, Stockholm Environment Institute*, USA

Andrea Bale, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Lothar Band, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Tine Barnes, The Academy, Australia

Hans-Joerg Bauer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Sanjut Behera, Practical Action, India

John David Belcher, Belcher Research, Canada

Richard Blanchard, Loughborough University*, United Kingdom

Dana Bowman, Canada

Clement Bowman, Bowman Centre for Technology Commercialization*, Canada

Cara Bowman, Canada

Michael Brauer, University of British Columbia*, Canada

Wolfgang Breh, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

William Brent, Power for All*, Spain

Ed Brown, Loughborough University* and UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network*, United KIngdom

Julie Brown, Practical Action, United Kingdom

Adam Browning, Vote Solar*, USA

Pamela Bryan,, Canada

Nicola Bugatti, ECREEE*, Cabo Verde

Rob Byrne, University of Sussex*, United Kingdom

Claudio Canizares, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Giovanni Cascante, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Sergio Castellanos Rodriguez, UC Berkeley*, USA

Julio Castro, Portugal

Emre Çelebi, Kadir Has University*, Turkey

Victoria Cholmondeley, Practical Action, United Kingdom

Barry Colbert, Lazaridis School of Business, Wilfrid Laurier University*, Canada

Wordsworth Cole, Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone*, Sierra Leone

Barry Cox, Practical Action, United Kingdom

Simon Dalby, Wilfrid Laurier University*, Country

Mihai-Ionut Danciu, Politehnica University*, Timisoara, Romania

Ian Derbyshire, Practical Action, United Kingdom

Sinalou Diawara, Mali

Katie Dick, United Kingdom

Birupakshya Dixit, Practical Action, India

Heather Douglas, Canada

Adi Dunkelman, Canada

Maurice Dusseault, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Helmut Ehrenberg, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Sonigitu Asibong Ekpe, Department of Forestry, Biodiversity and Conservation, Government of Cross River State*, Nigeria

Hosny El Lakany, Canada

Kassem El Saddik, EvalMENA - MENA Evaluation Network*, Canada

Jean Etourneau, University of Bordeaux*, France

Rabiz Foda, Canada
Candan Ergeneman, Turkey

Davi Ezequiel François, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis*, Brazil/Germany

Carlos Frías Coronado, Practical Action, Peru

Bettina Frohnapfel, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Kai Furmans, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Mel Gabriel, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Grégoire Gailly, GERES*, Mali

Lisa Gardner, Practical Action, United Kingdom

Philip Grabherr, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Peter Gratzfeld, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Jason Gray, Canada

Jonathan Gudorf, United Kingdom

Burak Guler, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Vikas Gupta, First Solar*, USA

Veit Hagenmeyer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Michael P. Hallé, Canada

Nancy Harper, Harps Ink*, Canada

Carsten Hellpap, EnDev Programme, GIZ*, Germany

Klaus Hesch, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Michael J. Hoffmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Guy Holburn, Western University*, Canada

Joseph Hwani, Practical Action, Zimbabwe

Md Mahobul Islam, Practical Action, Bangladesh
Bruce Java, Department of PMNEC*, Papua New Guinea

Miranda Johnson, The Economist*, United KIngdom

Seigi K, USA

Yacine Kadi, CERN*, France

Konstantinos Karanasios, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Karim S Karim, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Thomas Kaschub, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Mehrdad Kazerani, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Srinivasan Keshav, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Rakesh Khadka, Practical Action, Nepal

Smail Khennas, Algeria

James Kirby, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Canada

Jechoniah Kitala, Practical Action, Kenya

Kweku Koranteng, Stellenbosch University*, Ghana

Christophe Krolik, Université Laval*, Canada

Vasant Kumar, University of Cambridge*, United KIngdom

Mahlon Kyomuhendo, Rwanda

Jackie Lau, Canada

Bronwyn Lazowski, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Dung Le, Vietnam

Tuan Anh Le, Research Institute for Climate Change - Can Tho University*, Vietnam

Karen Lee, USA

Andy Lei, Canada

Ulrich Lemmer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Yuning Li, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Yu Hsuan Liao, Duke University*, Taiwan

Tina Lin, Canada

Niels Lind, Canada

Chad Lipton, USA

Niklas Lollo, USA

Ernesto Macias, Alliance for Rural Electrification*, Spain

Megan MacKenzie, Canada

Faisal Mahmud, Bangladesh

Antonio Magalhaes, Center for Strategic Studies and Management, CGEE*, Brazil

Data Magfur, Bangladesh

Sophie Major, ERG UC Berkeley*, Canada

Joel Makower, GreenBiz Group*, United States

Richard J. Marceau, Memorial University of Newfoundland*, Canada

Kudzai Marovanidze, Practical Action, Zimbabwe

Laura Maxwell, University of Waterloo, Canada

Nicole Maynard-Li, Canada

Stephen McLaughlin, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada*, Canada

Rachel McManus, USA

Jen-Chung Mei, Taiwan

Petra Mihalic, Society for Conservation Biology*, Germany

Alison Mohr, University of Nottingham*, UK

Tim Moorhead, United States

Alex C. Mueller, France

Martha Munyoro Katsi, Practical Action, Zimbabwe

Adele Murphy, Practical Action, United Kingdom
Paul Murphy, MaRS Advanced Energy Centre*, Canada

Maya Nathwani, Canada

Nguessan Pacome Ncho, Cote D'Ivoire
Liam Neumann, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Hang Nguyen, Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), Vietnam

Thu Trang Nguyen, Vietnam

Thuan Nguyen Chi, Vietnam

Eric Mwangi Njoroge, Kenya

Mathias Noe, Germany

Hagop Ohannessian, Canada

Patience Okon, Nigeria

Samah Omer, Practical Action, Sudan

Shonali Pachauri, International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies*, India

Debajit Palit, The Energy and Resources Institute*, India

Paul Parker, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Binu Parthan, Sustainable Energy Associates*, India

Lee Patterson, Canada

Ivalin Petkov, SunPower*, USA

Witold-Roger Poganietz, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Gemany

Canmanie Ponnambalam, Canada

Elisa Puzzolo, Global LPG Partnership*, United Kingdom

Ahmed Qamar, Afghanistan

Alanna Quinn, Canada

Mokhlesur Rahman, Practical Action, Bangladesh

Habibur Rahman, Practical Action, Bangladesh

Erwin Rathnaweera, Practical Action, Sri Lanka

Bryce Richards, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Sabrina Ried, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Mathieu Ruillet, Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity, France

Vandana Erin Ryder,, Canada

Jalel Sager, UC Berkeley* and New Sun Road*, USA

L. M. Sirjus Salekin, Practical Action, Bangladesh

Amit Saraogi, Oorja: Empowering Rural Communities, India

Hartmut Schmeck, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Maged Senbel, University of British Columbia*, Canada

Ishrat Shabnam, Practical Action, Bangladesh

Esther Shears, USA/Denmark

Megha Shenoy, Ashoka Trust for Ecology and the Environment*, India

Godfrey Sibanda, Zimbabwe

Miguel Silva, USA

David Simakov, University of Waterloo, Canada

Peter V. Simone, Canada

Simron Singh, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Jarnail Singhh, The Climate Group*, India

Siva Sivoththaman,, Canada

Benjamin Sovacool, University of Sussex*, United Kingdom

Iris Strickler, Canada

Jessica Strickler, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Canada

Xiaojun Su, Canada

Rakesh Suri, India

Orestis Terzidis, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

George Todd, George Todd Consulting, Canada

Julia Tomei, UCL ISR*, United Kingdom

Rahul Tongia, Brookings India*, India

Noim Uddin, CPMA*, Australia

Uwe Wagner, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Laura Walker, Practical Action, United Kingdom

Robert Warren, WeirFoulds LLP*, Canada

Olaf Weber, University of Waterloo*, Canada

Nathalie Weisman, ECREEE*, Cote D’Ivoire

Stephanie Whitney, University of Waterloo*, Canada

John Wilkinson, Former Ontario Minister of the Environment, Canada

Justine Williams, Consultant, United Kingdom

Gigi Wing-Davies, Practical Action, Zimbabwe

Annie Wu, Canada

Do Xuan Hoan, Greenid Vietnam, Vietnam

20/20 Catalysts Program, Canada

Alliance for Rural Electrification, Belgium  

Amis des Etrangers au Togo (ADET), Togo 

ArcTern Ventures, Canada   

Barefoot College, India

Bennu Solar Ltd., Hong Kong

Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative, USA

Climate Concern Ltd., Rwanda

Club of Green Journalists, Vietnam

Crosstaff Solutions, Canada

Danish Institute for Human Rights, Denmark

Eccon Soluções Ambientais, Brazil

EDUCON, Czech Republic

Empower Generation, Nepal

Empower Generation, USA

Energie Pour Tous, Burkina Faso

ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy, International

Energy Access Dialogue, Nigeria

ENVenture, Uganda

Environment & Livelihood Development Foundation, Phillipines

Foundation for Global Climate Change Advancement and Environmental Protection, Nigeria

Freeplay Energy Ltd, United Kingdom

Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity, France

GeoFaus Consult & Energy, Ghana

HUM: Human Unlimited Media, USA

IDEAS For Us, International

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, USA


International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED), India

International Rivers, International

Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology, Iraq

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

KYA-Energy Group, Togo

Low Carbon Energy for Development Network, UK

Lumeter Networks, USA

Maxtech Limited, Bangladesh

Nadji.Bi Group, Sénégal

Norges Naturvernforbund, Norway

Oorja: Empowering Rural Communities, India, Canada

POTATO Education and Communication JSC., Vietnam

Powerhouse, United States

Practical Action, International

Project Gaia, Inc. and GAIA Association, USA/International

Smart Villages, United Kingdom

Smarter Grid international, Nigeria / Canada / USA


SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Netherlands

South Sudan Climatic Change Network, South Sudan

Sunlabob Renewable Energy, Ltd., Myanmar, Lao PDR, Singapore, Hong Kong

Sustainable Energy Africa, South Africa

Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA), Tanzania

Teleficient (SL) Ltd, Sierra Leone

TRINE, Sweden
Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development, Uganda

WakaWaka, Netherlands

Waterloo Global Science Initiative, Canada

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, Canada

Wind Empowerment, International

WWF, International

Xeni Gwet'in First Nations Government, Canada