Rio+20 Side event “Financing Access to Clean Energy for the Poor”

Members of the media are invited to attend the High-level side event hosted by UNCDF, UNDP-GEF, the Government of Austria and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) within the

Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The event will address the challenges posed by energy poverty and present innovative approaches that allow low-income population and micro-enterprises to have access to clean energy.

Current and anticipated trends in energy poverty are alarming and show that increasing access to energy will be critical to achieving sustainable development. A wide range of technologies is now available not only to scale up energy access but also to foster the use of ‘clean’ energy. However, in many developing countries, the main obstacle to uptake is the lack of financing models that make energy accessible and affordable to low-income consumers. This side event - entitled:

"Financing Access to Clean Energy for the Poor" - will address this important challenge and present innovative approaches that combine strengthening clean energy value chains with innovative financing arrangements targeting low-income population and micro-enterprises.

The main objective of the event is to reach consensus on the concrete measures that can be taken to foster access to energy for the poor. The findings of the session will be incorporated into major initiatives of clean energy finance by UNDP-GEF and UNCDF and other Development Partners. These commitments will provide a tangible contribution to the success of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.