Brussels, 05 Nov 2004
The European Commission has adopted proposals that would see it providing 250 million euro to countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) to increase access to modern energy services.
The proposal's aims are twofold: to promote energy initiatives, provide information and build up the research and management capacities in these countries, and to fill the funding gap for sustainable energy projects and activities. The EU funding is also expected to act as a catalyst in generating additional funds for energy.
Commission President Romano Prodi has called on the EU's Member States to now endorse the proposals as a matter of urgency so that the Commission can take forward its work in the field of energy and 'considerably boost the provision of energy services to the poor.'
The initiative would be used to fund innovative solutions for delivering sustainable energy to the poor. Projects could include electrification in rural areas, the improvement of the efficiency of home cooking and the promotion of sustainable energy generation through biomass, small hydroplants and wind power.
The EU launched its energy initiative for poverty eradication and sustainable development at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. Since then, more attention has been given to energy services in the context of the EU's external assistance activities.