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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Building Damage Assessment in Albania

01.04.2024 - 31.12.2027

The devastating earthquake in 2019 revealed that Albania has a weak policy and institutional framework and low public awareness on building damage assessment. The Swiss project will support Albania in strengthening its disaster risk management institutions at national and municipal level to provide sustainable and effective building damage assessment services, leading to safer living conditions and a more disaster resilient business environment.


8th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, June 2025

01.03.2024 - 31.12.2025

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is the most important international conference to discuss progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR. The eighth session of the Global Platform will be hosted by Switzerland in Geneva in June 2025. It will review advances in the realisation of the calls to action made in 2023 by the United Nations General Assembly on the midterm review of the Sendai Framework and will be key for the identification and support of measures to accelerate DRR implementation and improve coherence with the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement.


Addressing Climate and El Niño-related Risks in Southeast Asia

01.02.2024 - 31.07.2025

Through an innovative partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) and Geoneon, the SDC will support the creation of high-quality geospatial data products to support riskinformed and climate-smart decision-making in development cooperation and DRM in priority subnational areas in Lao PDR and Indonesia, contributing to and complementing efforts under the SERVIR Southeast Asia project implemented by ADPC and supported by USAID and NASA.


Climate & Socially Resilient Livelihoods’ Support (CSRLS)

01.02.2024 - 30.04.2028

The climatic challenges exacerbate Afghanistan's already fragile socio-economic condition. The project by the Afghan NGO, The Liaison Office, aims to sustainably improve lives and livelihoods of the poorest households in selected provinces by strengthening the natural resource base, climate change resilient and diversified livelihoods, relationships within and between communities, as well as joint climate action.


EmPower II: Women for Climate Resilient Societies

01.12.2023 - 31.12.2025

With EmPower II, SDC contributes to a SIDA-funded project of UN-Women and UNEP promoting  climate-resilient development for women and other marginalized groups. SDC’s support enables disaggregated data products for gender-responsive DRR and climate strategies and enhances capacities on the subnational level among policy-makers and CSOs. SDC’s support also facilitates financial access and literacy on renewable energy in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.


Humanitarian assistance to people affected by the protracted crisis in Venezuela

01.09.2023 - 31.12.2024

Despite a moderate recovery in some economic indicators during 2022, the Venezuelan economy continues to contract during 2023. Meanwhile, there is no improvement in the structural causes of the humanitarian crisis. As a result, the needs of the most vulnerable are still high. Therefore, Caritas aims to facilitate access on health, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, for vulnerable families in eight states according to the Guidance Note for Venezuela 2022-2024. 


Mozambique Humanitarian Aid UNICEF WASH Preparedness 2023

01.09.2023 - 31.05.2024

Through UNICEF country program support, Switzerland contributes to integrated climate resilience, disaster risk reduction and preparedness in the WASH sector for communities at risk of cyclonic events. The program focuses on communities facing the triple risk of lacking access to WASH while being exposed to climate-related and health-related hazards. In addition, UNICEF program will respond to specific gaps in the emergency response at national and sub-national levels and prepare the WASH sector for a joint and systematic approach to climate change. 


Peru, SEDAPAL: Emergency Water Supply in Lima

01.08.2023 - 31.12.2027

Lima with a population of over 12 million is subject to the highest seismic vulnerability in Peru. Hence, ensuring Lima’s water supply continuity in case of a major earthquake is crucial. The initiative aims at contributing to strengthened preparedness capacities of Lima’s water service provider (SEDAPAL) by improving its technical, financial and logistical capacities, knowledge exchange and inter-sectorial coordination together with key partners from government, academia, and the private sector.


Bangladesh Microinsurance Market Development Programme

01.07.2023 - 31.12.2027

This programme takes forward Switzerland’s global and in-country experience in working on agricultural microinsurance by addressing critical climate risks, hazards and resulting economic shocks for farming people. The programme will sustainably increase resilience of farmers and related micro and small enterprises through climate change adaptation practices, and stimulate sustainable and inclusive growth across multiple agricultural sub-sectors.


Assistance on Nuclear Safety and Security by supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Expert Missions to Ukraine

01.07.2023 - 30.09.2024

Since Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA’s) Response and Assistance Network (RANET) has provided technical assistance to Ukraine. In January 2023, the IAEA addressed to its Member States, including Switzerland, crucial extra budgetary funding needs amounting to Euro 11.8 Mio for the year 2023. This funding supports the IAEA Experts Missions to Ukraine to ensure nuclear safety and security; mitigates humanitarian protection of human live and health, disaster resilience and environmental protection.


Supporting returnee and host communities to rebuild livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security (Triple Nexus) in South Sudan.

01.07.2023 - 30.09.2025

This project will support returnees and the host communities to rebuild their livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security. This will be achieved through increased food production, sustainable management and governance of natural resources, initiating alternative income opportunities, non-violent conflict resolution and GBV prevention. This intervention aligns with the humanitarian, peace and development nexus and will contribute to durable solutions. 


Green Economy and Sustainable Private Sector Development

01.06.2023 - 31.05.2026

Project supports transition towards green economy, in particular in tourism and agriculture sectors. With the generous financial support provided by the Swiss and German Governments as well as the European Union (joined for the first time as co-donor), international implementing agency (GIZ) will address challenges in above sectors through improved policy framework in green economy and practices. Transforming economy towards sustainability will also create new and decent jobs.

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