Are fuel riots the food riots of the 21st century?

September 19, 2018
Ploughing through the papers for this week’s big IDS conference of the ‘Action for Accountability and Empowerment’ research consortium (of which Oxfam is a member), a new IDS paper on energy protests jumped out at me. Here’s the brilliant Naomi Hossain summarizing it in an IDS blog: ‘Modern life depends on fuel, even while tackling climate change means cutting subsidies for

Reframing climate change: how carbon reduction can also reduce poverty and inequality

January 27, 2017
Given the events of 2016 we may well need to find additional ways of arguing for action on climate change.  Luckily, new evidence highlights additional incentives for action.  Ruth Mayne explores the ‘co-benefits’ of tackling climate change and the practical benefits they can bring to community and national development. We normally understand climate change as a collective action problem. The

Africa’s renewable future – the coming energy revolution

June 5, 2015
Apologies for extra post today, but the guest posts and new papers are coming thick and fast. John Magrath, Oxfam researcher and renewable energy fan, celebrates a new report by Kofi Annan. In Zimbabwe last week I was talking to a nurse at a rural health centre who described how the cost of two candles can be a matter of health

Fighting inequality one city at a time: reclaiming public water and electricity in Delhi

February 12, 2014
There’s a political earthquake going on in Delhi right now. Biraj Swain (Exfam India, now campaigning and researching on water) looks at its immediate impact on poor people’s access to water and electricity. Last month marked the first month in office of the anti-corruption movement turned political party, the Aam Admi ‘Common Man’ Party government in Delhi, India. Two days

‘Resource Futures’: good new report on how to confront resource scarcity and conflict

January 15, 2013
Looks like this is going to be crystal ball week on the blog – must be the time of year. Just read Resource Futures from Chatham House (inventors of the ubiquitous Chatham House Rule). The analysis is pretty good, but it really raises the bar on communication, with great interactive infographics and killer facts. Advocacy wonks everywhere, take note. The

To close the energy poverty gap, we need ideas, investment…and natural gas. Todd Moss responds to Hannah Ryder

October 20, 2012

Why high carbon energy is the wrong solution for low income countries

October 19, 2012

Confronting scarcity by managing water, energy and land: the new European Report on Development

June 13, 2012

How do we talk about resource limits, fair shares and development?

July 22, 2011

When energy comes to a Senegalese village, do people get more healthy, wealthy and wise?

December 10, 2010
John Magrath is an Oxfam researcher currently working on renewable energy Hats off to Sarah Best for her recent post on energy and in particular, for highlighting the excellent new Practical Action report, Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2010. I’ve been delving into energy issues too lately. I’ve just come back from Senegal, where I was trying to get clearer in my

What should Oxfam be doing on renewables? Your advice, please

June 16, 2010
Wisdom of crowds time. We’re doing some thinking on renewable energy and energy poverty (which affects about 1.5-2bn people), and thought we’d pick your brains. My colleague John Magrath has written this guest blog as an opener, and I’ll run a few posts on energy-related issues over the next few days. Over to John: As an NGO we’ve never done

Ending energy poverty in India is part of tackling climate change

April 20, 2010
Energy for all Is vital in India Can outsiders help? NGOs don’t often talk about energy poverty and they should. Electricity means kids are more likely to do their homework; dirty energy for cooking fills the houses of the poor with smoke and does terrible damage to health. Two recent items in my inbox brought this to mind. Firstly a