Good Practices

UNLOCKING URBAN ENERGY ACCESS AND POVERTY: A NEW TOOLKIT FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

 

Around 685 million people lacked access to electricity in 2022, according to The Energy Progress Report – and a further 2 billion people were still unable to cook cleanly and safely. Cities and local governments recognize the urgency and benefits of addressing energy access and poverty (EAP) but often face significant barriers. Responding to this need,  COP27 the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) alliance launched the Energy Access and Poverty Pillar (EAPP) of the Common Reporting Framework (CRF): a set of indicators, guidelines, and timelines built to help its 13,000+ signatories take action towards a just energy transition.   

 

Recognizing the importance of accompanying reporting with guidance and resources, the GCoM alliance launched the ‘Urban Energy Access Toolkit for Local Governments‘ at the Global Cities Dialogue on the sidelines of ICLEI World Congress 2024 in São Paulo, Brazil. Developed in partnership with Arup and in collaboration with the Energy Access and Poverty Subcommittee of the GCoM Data Technical Working Group as well as several GCoM Regional and National Covenants, the Toolkit supports local government staff as they pursue measurement and action along their energy access and poverty journeys, and meet the requirements of the CRF. More specifically, it aims to: 

  • Define the local energy poverty context and energy access challenges using community stories and quantitative data;
  • Analyze the systemic barriers they experience in implementing EAPP interventions; and 
  • Identify pathways to address EAP, such as available powers and influence, suitable interventions, relevant stakeholders, and potential benefits.

 

The Toolkit contains 8 modules to guide local government officials through energy access and poverty planning. Crucially, it allows local governments to prioritize the modules most important and sensitive to their capacities and contexts, even if capacity is low or time is tight. Through the Toolkit – and by better understanding the lived experiences of its residents through the energy access and poverty lens – local governments can progress towards identifying energy access and poverty actions, share best practices, and leverage the EAPP indicators. This will empower communities to participate more fully in the economic, social, and cultural life of their neighborhoods.

 

 

The Urban Energy Access Toolkit for Local Governments complements the ‘Unlocking Urban Energy Access and Poverty’ research report,  released in 2023 by the GCoM alliance to strengthen the knowledge base around what local governments need to ensure access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all. The report mapped the structural barriers local governments face to possible approaches and levers; practical shifts for local governments to embed innovations in their visions, policies and programmes to address energy access and poverty.

 

The Toolkit is designed primarily for local government staff, with modules and resources that can also benefit other stakeholders. It provides the resources needed to start conversations, share experiences, and catalyze a dynamic action roadmap for tackling energy access and poverty.

 

The GCoM alliance is grateful for the time and expertise of teams from the following local governments, who piloted the modules in this Toolkit:

  • City of Edmonton, Canada
  • City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Tokorozawa City Government, Japan