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IEA report lacks poor person's perspective, according to development charity

International development charity, Practical Action, has today criticised the IEA’s influential World Energy Outlook report (WEO) for lacking insight in suggesting that the problem of energy access can be solved by energy companies alone.

The annual WEO report, has this year included an entire chapter on energy poverty which is the result of long-term lobbying for the importance of energy access for developing countries to be recognised by decision-makers around the world, something Practical Action played a significant role in.

However, the charity claims the IEA report’s figures are too low, citing the percentage of people that are energy poor at just 20%, where Practical Action’s report recognises that half of the world’s population currently has no access to modern energy of any kind.

Margaret Gardner, Communications Director, Practical Action, said: “It’s fantastic that the issue of energy access in developing countries is finally being recognised but the IEA must recognise that the issue of energy poverty cannot be solved by energy companies alone. For significant change to happen this must be a joint effort by Governments, NGOs and the energy sector.”

The charity works to provide access to energy for people in developing countries who, due to a lack of access to modern energy, are forced to cook on open fires every day risking disease from smoke inhalation and attack on the long journeys to collect firewood.

The report looks at the importance of modern energy for poor people in terms of improving health, boosting education and helping people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Gardner continued: “We are campaigning for energy for all by 2030 providing access to modern energy such as electricity for developing countries through a variety of schemes including renewables such as wind and micro hydro power.”

For more information about Practical Action’s work please visit

For further information, please contact Abbie Upton, Practical Action Media Officer, on 01926 634510 or 07714 205342.