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Policy positions

Powering progress, not poverty

Moving beyond gas to real energy solutions for people living in poverty

2023 Available in English and Portuguese

A child arranges firewood on the roof of his family tent, next to a solar panel, in a Rohingya camp in Bangladesh.

A child arranges firewood on the roof of his family tent, next to a solar panel, in a Rohingya camp in Bangladesh. Photo: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

In the last few years, a significant number of international public investments have been channelled towards expanding large-scale gas infrastructures in low-and middle-income countries.

This is, in part, because many governments and fossil fuel companies are portraying gas as a transition solution that can resolve the climate crisis and, at the same time, address energy poverty, meet rising energy demands and diversify the national economy by exporting gas abroad.

However, such an approach disregards the weight of evidence showing that reliance on gas will not only fail to solve the climate crisis but create additional problems – for the environment and for those countries and local communities who would host the gas infrastructure.

This report explores some of the claims about using gas as a transition fuel, shows why those claims are untrue, particularly for people living in poverty, and explains why renewable energies are a better development and climate solution for both the climate and local communities.

‘Gas is not the future for Africa – but Africa needs to receive technological and financial support in order to transition to renewable energy.’
Promise Salawu, Renew our World Nigeria

This transition will not be possible without the right financial and technological support.

Therefore, we make the following recommendations:

  • Money out of fossil fuelsEnd domestic and international public finance for polluting gas and invest instead in renewable energy solutions, on a scale at least matching and preferably surpassing former fossil fuel investment.
  • Money into a just transitionEnsure that investments in renewable energy solutions deliver the co-benefits of renewables and uphold justice principles, by supporting an equitable, just energy transition and prioritising decentralised projects to increase energy access.

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