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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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.



Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities Plus Programme Phase 2 (CALAC+ 2)

01.08.2021 - 31.07.2025

Phase 2 of the Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities Plus Programme (CALAC+) will support the consolidation and implementation of local and national measures to reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG) from urban transport and non-road mobile machinery to protect the climate and human health. CALAC+ will foster normative and technological changes through regional cooperation, building on Swiss expertise, and share the programme’s experience at the global level. 


Voluntary Contribution to the Adaptation Fund (AF)

01.08.2021 - 31.12.2024

The Adaptation Fund (AF) has a proven track record for implementing innovative adaptation projects for those people most in need. AF projects increase overall resilience of vulnerable poor globally and in SDC partner countries and decrease the potential risk, that impacts of climate change could diminish achieved development outcomes across sectors. With this voluntary contribution and due to its recognized climate adaptation expertise, Switzerland ensures its representation in the governing body of the AF and increases its convening power.


Energising Development - Support to the Energising Development (EnDev) Partnership

01.07.2021 - 31.12.2024

Providing sustainable access to needs-based and climate-friendly energy services to households, health centres, schools, and small enterprises improves the livelihoods of beneficiaries through reduced indoor air pollution, improved access to information, enabling of revenue generating activities, and enhanced quality of public services, all while reducing CO2 emissions. Energising Development (EnDev) is an impact-oriented partnership of Switzerland and other donor countries supporting universal energy access.


Promotion de l‘emploi et de revenus non agricoles dans la région des Grands Lacs grâce à la production de matériaux de construction respectueux du climat (PROECCO)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

La forte demande en matériel de construction due à l’urbanisation rapide dans la région des Grands Lacs prédispose ce secteur à la création d’emploi et à offrir une perspective économique au grand nombre de jeunes dans la région. L’introduction par le projet PROECCO de briques améliorées, abordables et neutres en CO2 répondant aux normes de résistance et de durabilité a créé une forte demande. Pour la troisième phase, il s’agit d’appuyer le secteur privé à augmenter la production pour satisfaire la demande et d’atteindre les effets escomptés en emplois et en réduction des émissions de CO2


Contribution to the UN-REDD Pro-gramme (single phase)

15.12.2020 - 31.12.2025

Forests are a central solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, their sustainable management is an imperative for the planet but also for millions of vulnerable people. The UN-REDD Programme is a key player in accelerating the implementation of appropriate policies and actions in tropical low and lower-middle income countries to reduce deforestation and restore forests. The contribution will allow for a strong Swiss engagement jointly with the Federal Office of the Environment, and for the capitalization of existing work of the four SDC domains on forest ecosystems and related livelihoods.


Strengthening the climate resilience portfolio of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

01.12.2020 - 30.11.2024

Climate change is an amplifier of natural hazards and a threat to human lives, sustainable development and poverty reduction. The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank aims to substantially increase investments in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Building on Switzerland’s role as champion and custodian of climate resilience within GFDRR, it will support climate mainstreaming in all GFDRR activities.


Low Carbon Cement (LCC) - Phase 3 (Exit Phase)

15.09.2020 - 14.09.2022

Cement production contributes significantly to global warming. This phase aims at the commercial deployment of a new cement type (LC3) which emits 15-30% less CO2 compared to standard cements. LC3 was extensively researched by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) with partners in Cuba and India. Industrial deployment will be achieved through commercial production and application by the construction sector mainly in India and Latin America with support of the project.


Green Climate Fund Core Contribution 2020-2023 (GCF-1)

01.09.2020 - 31.12.2023

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) finances low-emission and climate-resilient development projects and programs with a focus on the most vulnerable countries. The Swiss contribution to GCF’s first formal replenishment period 2020-23 places Switzerland amongst the top ten donors based on per capita contributions. Switzerland advocates in the GCF governing board for impact-oriented projects with maximum development co-benefits, social inclusion and effective private sector engagement. 


Fighting COVID-19 and strengthening the health infrastructure with sustainable energy

01.09.2020 - 30.06.2022

The electrification of healthcare facilities is an important enabler of the quality and functioning of essential health services, including for the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients. At the same time, survival of the mini-grid and offgrid industry is key for providing everyone with sustainable energy access. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Switzerland supports a joint initiative by the World Bank, Gavi and the World Health Organisation to accelerate electrification of health care facilities and provide liquidity to financially suffering mini-grid and offgrid companies.

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