The 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals evoked calls for more money, aid, health and sanitation, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) has identified a common factor: energy. “Addressing sanitation, clean water, hunger—these goals can’t be met without…access to energy,” IEA’s chief economist said.
IEA argues that the gap between developed and developing countries is a gap of energy; 1.4 billion people still need electricity, and 2.7 billion rely on polluting biomass to cook.
But funding energy is more complex than funding food. When the earth is this warm, bringing 1.4 billion more people into the carbon network gives pause. IEA predicts this would raise emissions by just 0.8%, but added to the average annual rise of roughly 3%, even 0.8% is a lot. Nuclear power will seldom be considered for nations with unreliable governments. If IEA estimates the cost of this energy to be an annual $36 billion, it must consider where the money will go.