CALL FOR PAPERS FOR THE CONFERENCE: IMPROVING ENERGY ACCESS THROUGH CLIMATE FINANCE: PICKING THE WINNERS

26-28 MARCH 2013

University of Twente

Extended Call for papers

There is a major global shift underway to create sustainable economies by means of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development. One of the biggest challenges of this so-called energy transition is to ensure universal access to modern, clean and affordable energy services to population groups that lack them. It is estimated that 1.3 billion people—one in five globally—do not have electricity to light their homes or conduct business and that 2.7 billion people – around 40% of the global population –still rely on the traditional biomass fuels for cooking, heating and lighting. It is estimated that to achieve universal access to modern energy services by 2030 an annual investment of at least $50 billion will be required. One potential source of finance is money ear-marked for the mitigation of climate change. To what extent have these funds resulted in improved energy access, and under what conditions has this occurred? Can we build on these experiences? How ‘green’ is the energy? Of the many sources of climate finance, which show the most potential for combating energy poverty while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Increasingly the private sector, in particularly multinational companies, is being asked to play a role in increasing energy access while at the same time providing innovative solutions to climate change. Is it possible to reconcile these demands within a business model? Is it possible for the private sector to play a leading role in the energy access and climate change? Does the private sector want this role?

This is not a problem only for developing countries. Developed countries face the combined challenge and opportunity of transforming existing infrastructure particularly to make it greener, while developing countries have the opportunity to adopt cleaner, more efficient technology from the start. These objectives reinforce each other in many instances, creating opportunities to maximize development benefits and help stabilize climate change.

As new streams on climate finance are emerging the conference aims

(i) to evaluate the possibilities to deliver on the ground improve energy access and to stimulate the energy transition in all economies in an effective manner;
(ii) to reach a realistic assessment of the extent to which climate finance could be used. (e.g. what can we expect from the Green Climate Fund?);
(iii) to evaluate the role of the private sector in energy access and climate change.

The conference will address a number of themes with special attention given to Africa, since this is where the majority of people live without access to electricity and clean cooking fuels. Sessions on energy access in Africa and climate finance will be organised together with the African Studies Centre Leiden.

Confirmed key note speakers:
  • Professor Joan Martinez Alier, Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Mr Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, Climate and Development Knowledge Network
  • Mr Emmanuel Ackom (UNEP Risoe Centre)

The conference is organised in partnership with:
  • UNEP Risoe Centre (Denmark)
  • Energia (the international network on gender and sustainable energy)
  • European Association of Development and Training Institutes (EADI) Gender and Development Working Group

Conference Themes

Biofuels
The role of biofuels in the mitigation of climate change is controversial, owing both to the dangers of direct and indirect land use change in developing countries and thus increased forest emissions, and to the potential displacement of small farmers. Nevertheless there is considerable commercial interest in developing sustainable biofuel, with associated investment opportunities. The current market is generally seen as being for first generation biofuel feedstocks (i.e. sugar based ethanol, diesel from oil seeds) in developed countries with the producers in developing countries where costs are lower. However, political pressure from environmentalists in Europe and the use of oil shale in the US (currently the two largest markets currently for biofuels) are creating a transition towards second (i.e. wood cellulose based) and third generation biofuel feedstocks (i.e. aquatic based micro-organisms), for which developing countries lag in opportunities owing to the technological complexities involved. Taken as a whole, do biofuels offer an opportunity in terms of alleviating energy poverty? And what streams of finance could be tapped for this?

REDD+
UNFCCC policy on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation is concerned with the reduction of forest emissions in developing countries, which may be rewarded for performance in lowering these emission rates compared to agreed reference levels. Current negotiations are going well and it is likely that finance may start flowing within a few years. Much interest has been shown in forest management at the local level as a means of achieving REDD goals, but counties may also elect many other policies and measures, including those relating to wood energy. Are such programmes likely to lead to increased energy access? Or will restrictions on forest use simply make access to sources of traditional energy and other eco-system services more difficult?

Technological and policy innovations
Finance for renewable energy technology and energy efficiency has been available via the carbon markets and the CDM for at least a decade already. In this respect, what can we expect from the post 2012 and post 2020 climate regimes? Is CDM the right vehicle for channelling finance into improved energy access, and what alternatives are available as regards climate finance? To what extent can national policies and NAMAs catalyse different sources of funding (public, private and from multilateral sources) to deliver universal energy access and the energy transition? How can bottom of the pyramid technologies further contribute to secure energy access? How can we move from the concept of additionality to the concept of Equitable Access to sustainable development as a criterion for resource allocation?

In this context, small hydropower for rural electrification is a good example of an under-utilised renewable energy, particularly in Africa. While large scale hydro has proven to be vulnerable to droughts and climate change, small scale hydro seems to be less vulnerable. Where the resource is available, small hydropower could play an important role in providing access to electricity in rural areas. While typical finance for grid connected small hydropower does normally include some type of (preferential) feed in tariff, the optimal model for off-grid applications is still to be found.
What could be the role of climate finance in developing off grid small hydropower particular in Africa? What would be the most effective roles for local communities, private sector and government (agencies)? Is enough capacity available to develop this resource?

Gender
Climate change is a global phenomenon, with impacts that are already being experienced on a human level, although these are different for women and men, with the former being more adversely affected. The IPCC recognised that it is those who are already the most vulnerable and marginalised who experience the greatest impacts and are in the greatest need of adaptation strategies in the face of shifts in weather patterns and resulting environmental change. At the same time, it is the vulnerable and marginalised who have the least capacity or opportunity to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate or to participate in negotiations. In this context women are more likely than men to be absent from decision-making, whether in the household or at community, national or international levels – either because their contribution is not valued or because they do not have the time, confidence or resources to contribute. Making public climate change funding more gender responsive is an opportunity to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. How can we ensure gender is mainstreamed into climate finance initiatives?
To submit your abstract for the Conference click HERE

For the brochure click here

Information
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Call for papers timelines
The Closing Date for abstracts 4 February 2013
Acceptance of abstracts 14 February 2013
Deadline for receipt of full paper 8 March 2013
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Contact data
Further information can be obtained from the IGS secretariat at:
ICREP Lustrum
c/o Mrs M.F. Clifford
IGS
University of Twente
P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)53 489 4377
Email: icrep-lustrum@utwente.nl
Registration and Abstract Submission: http://www.utwente.nl/mb/cstm/forms/Registration_Conference_26-28March2013.docx/
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Location of event
University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

Fee
The fee will be Euro 75,00 (not for students)

Organizing committee
Joy Clancy (CSTM, University of Twente)
Margaret Skutsch (CSTM, University of Twente)
Edgar Cruz (SQConsult)
Arturo Balderas (CSTM, University of Twente)
Wim Jonker Klunne (CSIR, South Africa)
Magi Matinga (South Africa)
Nthabi Mohlakoana (CSTM, University of Twente)