Right to energy

The right to water is a theme that (Re)sources has carried and defended since 2005, as a founding right of human development.

The right to energy in so-called developing countries to break the vicious circle of poverty

The issue of access to essential services is at the heart of the human rights debate. It is linked to the emergence at the global level of the notion of essential rights and global public goods, which are underpinned by a principle of recognizing that every human being has the right to essential services, including electricity.

Access to energy affects productivity, health, education, climate change, food and water security and communications services.

Halfway between industrial and commercial activity and the satisfaction of social needs, energy requires a special approach. Access to it must be integrated as an essential element of development and must not only be a matter of charity or solidarity, but must also break the vicious circle of poverty.

Availability and access to electricity is therefore a key element in the fight against poverty. In terms of social and political recognition, having access to water and electricity when living in an informal or illegal neighbourhood often means moving from pariah status to that of a citizen.

The Sustainable Development Goals raise hopes for universal access to energy

In 2013, on the occasion of the World Summit on Future Energies, Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, wanted to make "Sustainable Energy for All" a major concern for governments.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced in 2015 the creation of a new forum to promote universal access to sustainable energy, in particular to facilitate the future implementation of the Organization's new development agenda. The United Nations has therefore adopted an energy target, Goal 7, which aims to ensure that by 2030 everyone has access to reliable, modern and affordable energy services. Targets include increasing the share of renewable energy, doubling the global rate of energy efficiency and developing infrastructure, particularly for the least developed countries.

"Energy is the common thread that links economic growth, social equity and a healthy environment. I warmly welcome the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy [in the future Development Agenda 2030]".

Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations in 2015

Recommendations from (re)sources

  • The right to electricity must be recognized as a fundamental human right, in the same way as the right to water and sanitation. To this end, it is necessary to estimate the needs, country by country, and to draw up an inventory of the constituent elements of what would be covered by this right - quality, availability, accessibility, continuity, cost recovery, as has been done for the right to water.
  • It is also necessary to identify the debtors, i.e. those who will ensure that this right materialises and does not remain incantatory.