Energy supply – improving living conditions and production processes

A woman standing beside a lamp that illuminates a table.
Access to electricity makes cooking and heating easier for poor sections of the population. © Fondation Antenna Technologies

Secure and affordable energy supply improves people’s living conditions as well as production processes, both of which are vital to sustainable development, poverty reduction and climate protection. The SDC’s Global Programme Climate Change promotes access to clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean air. 

SDC activities

Social and economic development without access to clean, efficient and renewable energy and to clean air is virtually impossible. Better living conditions are dependent upon these factors, among others. The Global Programme Climate Change focuses on three areas of activity:

  1. Access to clean and renewable energy
  2. Promotion of energy efficiency
  3. Contribution to clean air 

Widespread access to modern and renewable energy boosts the economy and helps people to cope better with the consequences of climate change. In India, for example, the Global Programme Climate Change promotes innovative technologies to ensure the energy needs of the population in rural areas are met. At global level, the SDC supports “Energising Development” (EnDev), a partnership between several countries that provides poor families with access to electricity and heat supply. This makes cooking easier and heating possible which in turn has a positive impact on human health and the environment as deforestation is reduced.

Switzerland has extensive experience of energy efficiency and the relevant technology and science. The SDC is therefore helping small and medium-sized companies through the Global Programme Climate Change, for example with the energy-efficient production of bricks and other construction materials. Such knowledge transfer enables energy to be saved and greenhouse gas emissions to be cut – especially in emerging economies.

The SDC promotes multilateral platforms and projects geared towards efficient and clean technologies. In Latin America, for example, the SDC supports the introduction of clean diesel engines in urban buses. It is also campaigning for legislation containing measures for clean air.

With its three complementary areas of activity, the SDC is making a contribution to raising awareness of and gearing efforts towards energy sustainability in developing countries and emerging economies. The well-conceived management of natural resources and lower dependence upon fossil fuels help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and related conflicts.

Background

Around 1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity and over 2.5 billion still rely solely on biomass, primarily wood, for cooking and heating.

A lack of access to modern forms of energy prevents development and has an adverse effect on health. Flue gases in open fireplaces are a case in point. Fluctuating energy prices and dependence on fossil fuels represent further risks, particularly for poor and vulnerable sections of the population. 

Around two-thirds of global CO2 emissions are produced by energy consumption. The growing demand for energy, in particular in developing countries and emerging economies, as well as high levels of coal consumption, are causing CO2 emissions to rise. This underlines the fact that energy supply, the fight against poverty and alleviating the effects of climate change are closely interlinked. The associated challenges must be tackled comprehensively.

Current challenges

Energy is crucial to sustainable development in many respects. Access to affordable energy is a key requirement for improved production in agriculture and industry and therefore also plays a vital role in reducing hunger and poverty.

Clean energy contributes to better management of all resources as, for example, fewer forests are cut down and water cycles are maintained. Achieving development targets also means finding solutions to energy issues. Providing poor sections of the population with better access to energy services and ensuring they are eco-friendly and efficient are challenges for development cooperation.

 

Links

Current projects

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Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.07.2024 - 31.07.2027

To adapt to climate change farmers rely increasingly on irrigation, ultimately depleting groundwater resources and raising energy demand. The project aims to address these challenges by promoting solar irrigation, water efficient agriculture and groundwater governance. The project will harness Swiss expertise on hydrogeology and technical innovations to contribute to climate resilient agriculture and facilitate knowledge sharing in South Asia and at the global level.


Adaptation to Climate Change in Mountains

01.12.2023 - 30.09.2027

Mountain ecosystems and societies are particularly sensitive to climate change. Targeted adaptation measures are essential to increase the resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems in mountains. The programme will harness Swiss expertise and generate information on climate change impacts and related adaptation strategies in mountains and feed them into regional science-policy platforms and global policy frameworks for adaptation planning in mountains.


Clean Air Project in India (CAP India)

01.10.2023 - 30.06.2027

India is one of the most severely affected countries by air pollution in the world. This project will contribute to India’s new National Clean Air Programme, with the aim to improve air quality with co-benefits on public health, environment and climate change. Capacity building and technical assistance through Swiss expertise will support data measurement and analysis, city level clean air action plans and awareness raising campaigns to take precautionary measures and mitigate air pollution.


Soutien au Dispositif National de Sécurité Alimentaire -PRESA-

01.07.2022 - 31.12.2025

Malgré l’excédent céréalier enregistré durant ces deux dernières décennies, l’insécurité alimentaire touche près du ¼ de la population du Mali. La DDC veut renforcer les capacités institutionnelles et organisationnelles du dispositif national de sécurité alimentaire en vue d’améliorer la prévention et la gestion des crises conjoncturelles et accroître la résilience des populations vulnérables à l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle.


Sustainable Natural Resources Management (NRM) for Enhanced Pastoralist Food Security in the Borana Zone, Ethiopia.

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2027

Natural resources, particularly water and pasture, are among the key determinants of pastoralist livelihoods’ sustainability. The proposed Project contributes to the outcomes of the SDC’s Food Security Domain as stipulated in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Horn of Africa. It aims at improving pastoralist food security and adaptive capacities in the lowlands of Borana Zone, Southern Ethiopia, through enhancing the sustainable management of natural resources.


Gulf of Mottama Project

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024

The unique mudflat ecosystem of the Gulf of Mottama is one of the most important mudflat ecosystems in the world. Communities relying on it as a source of livelihood and the impact of climate change threaten its biological integrity. Building on Switzerland’s specific expertise in Southeast Myanmar, the project aims to conserve the wetland’s unique biodiversity, strengthen climate change adaptation and provide vulnerable communities with sustainable livelihoods and markets.


Support to the Climate and Clean Air Co-alition (CCAC)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a leading global multistakeholder partnership bringing together states and intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations to jointly tackle the challenges of climate change and air pollution. Switzerland actively supports the Coalition, sharing its experiences garnered both nationally and through its international cooperation in order to assist low- and middle-income countries in implementing the most effective emission reduction strategies that yield multiple benefits for sustainable development. 


Global Energy Efficiency and Construction Outreach Programme (GLECOP)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

The Global Energy Efficiency and Construction Outreach Programme (GLECOP) contributes to low-emission, energy-efficient and resilient development of the building sector at a global scale. It supports two initiatives, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction and the Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies Programme. With its support, Switzerland aims to leverage successful practices from its bilateral projects at the global level to strengthen energy efficiency policies in the buildings sector.


FASL - Food-security and Agricultural Sustainability for Livelihood improvement

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

Poverty and food insecurity are widespread all over Afghanistan and even more accentuated after the political change after the takeover of the Taliban in August 2021. Therefore the support of the poorest farmers in the most remote areas by improving and securing their livelihoods is crucial in order to strenghten sustainable natural resources management and the communities’ resilience. It is interwoven with the humanitarian appeal of Aga Khan Foundation supported by Switzerland. 


Contribution to the Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme ADRiFi

01.12.2021 - 30.11.2025

Through a contribution to the ADRiFi programme of the African Development Bank, Switzerland intends to facilitate access to subsidies for the payment of natural disaster insurances for at least an additional 15   African countries. Payouts (up to 5 mio USD per event) from the insurance, managed by the African Risk Capacity Group, will allow governments respond timely and effectively to the needs of their population in case of disaster on the basis of the prepared effective contingency plans. 


Enhanced resilience of viticulture in Abkhazia

01.12.2021 - 30.11.2026

A vast area in Abkhazia was contaminated by the explosion of an ammunition warehouse in 2017. Clearance efforts supported by international experts are about to be completed, enabling the restoration of the land for agricultural purposes. Endemic grape varieties will be reintroduced fostering biodiversity and resistance to disease. Growers’ resilience to climatic and economic shocks will be enhanced by setting a sector association and training in advanced agricultural practices.


Energy and Environment Partnership Africa Trust Fund

15.11.2021 - 30.11.2025

With financing to the Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund Africa, Switzerland will help provide early stage grants and catalytic financing to innovative clean energy projects, technologies and business models implemented by private actors in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Switzerland’s contribution increases access to clean energy by vulnerable and underserved groups and consolidates its engagement in climate change mitigation.

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