Op-Eds & Articles

September 24, 2018
SSIR: Why Energy Philanthropy Is High-Impact Philanthropy
By Rachel Pritzker

From Stanford Social Innovation Review:

Imagine living permanently without power. What would this mean for your health, for your children’s education, for your livelihood?

This is the reality currently facing the more than 1.3 billion people across the globe who live without any access to electricity. And it is a reality that those of us in philanthropy should be addressing, given the vital role that energy plays in a range of causes that funders care about.

Our work has deepened our understanding of the importance of energy. The more we have studied climate change and energy access issues, and learned what it will take to decarbonize the global energy system, the more aware we have become of the tensions and interrelationships between reducing carbon emissions and providing electricity to the global poor. We have come to believe that energy is not—and cannot be seen as—just an environmental issue: It is fundamental to the wide array of issues that contemporary philanthropy is concerned with, including health, education, women’s empowerment, and poverty. A 2005 report by the United Nations Development Programme argued that energy access was  “a prerequisite” to achieving all eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Read the rest of Rachel’s article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review here.

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