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Blog Post 3 November 2021

How our international collaboration is enabling energy access globally

At Energy Saving Trust, we have a long history of partnership working in the UK and beyond – with governments, energy agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector.

We were set up in 1992 as part of the UK’s response to the international United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during which environmental concerns claimed the spotlight on an international stage for the first time. The 1992 Earth Summit was the first of the now annual Conference of the Parties (COP) – with COP26 now in full swing in Glasgow.

Working to reduce emissions globally

Over the past 15 years, we have collaborated with over 35 international projects focused on researching and analysing policy, programme development and implementation. We also work with international partners to reduce emissions globally and provide access to low carbon energy and high-performing appliances in the global south.

Together with CLASP, we deliver the Low Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) programme, which aims to accelerate the availability, affordability, efficiency and performance of electrical appliances suited to off-grid and weak-grid households – including off-grid refrigeration, solar water pumps, fans and televisions. It is supported by UK aid and the IKEA Foundation.

Affordable, high-performing and inclusive appliances

By enabling access to efficient appliances, LEIA is helping to improve energy access, increase incomes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensure more reliable access to health services, and improve agricultural efficiency and food security.

As part of our work on LEIA, we coordinate Efficiency for Access with our partner CLASP. Chaired by UK aid and the IKEA Foundation, Efficiency for Access is working to promote high performing appliances that enable access to clean energy for the world’s poorest people. It is a catalyst for change, accelerating the growth of off-grid appliance markets to boost incomes, reduce carbon emissions, improve quality of life, and support sustainable development.

What is energy access?

The International Energy Agency defines energy access as “a household having reliable and affordable access to both clean cooking facilities and to electricity, which is enough to supply a basic bundle of energy services initially, and then an increasing level of electricity over time to reach the regional average”.  

Currently, 759 million people lack access to electricity worldwide and 2.6 billion people are unable to cook cleanly – numbers that are expected to increase due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Access to energy can help to enhance resilience to climate change, as well as improve access to health services. Through our role in the Efficiency for Access Coalition, we are active in the energy access sector – a sector that is rapidly expanding and set to create more than 42 million jobs by 2050.

Efficiency for Access at COP26

We’re proud and excited that the Efficiency for Access Coalition is hosting and participating in four events at the COP26 climate conference on Thursday 4 November: Energy Day. Accelerating a just and inclusive global transition to clean energy is essential if we are to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C. The day will bring together governments and organisations to demonstrate that the shift to clean power is rapidly accelerating, and that people and their livelihoods are at the heart of this.  

As the Energy Access co-theme lead, alongside ICF and the International Energy Agency at the COP26 Resilience Hub, Efficiency for Access is hosting two hybrid events on Thursday 4 November:

SDG 7 pavilion

Efficiency for Access is also hosting and participating in two events on Thursday 4 November in the SDG 7 pavilion, which will showcase work that is helping contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7): Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. You can register for the events here.

Head to our Climate talk at COP26 hub to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements from the climate conference.

Last updated: 3 November 2021