Version 3.2

Degrowth and the sustainable development agenda

Should we pursue SDG 7 "energy access for all" in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Degrowth and the sustainable development agenda: Should we pursue SDG 7 "energy access for all" in Sub-Saharan Africa?
The evidence is undeniable, the social and environmental harms of the linear and growth-centric systems of extraction and exploitation of natural resources demand a transformation of how the world’s economies and societies are organised. Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish and shed light on the sectors where output growth remains possible and necessary, and where decoupling opportunities exist. This paper will explore the compatibility of the degrowth agenda and the pursuit of SDG 7, “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa’s expected economic and consumption growth. Are the net positive impacts of energy access on the lives of low-income families overshadowed by the social and environmental costs of the solar technology industry? Can international financial institutions and their partners embed degrowth principles in the development and implementation of energy access programmes? By answering these questions among others through an in-depth literature review and interviews with international development practitioners, this paper will discuss the central role of clean energy access in the fight for global justice and demonstrate that pursuing growth in the off-grid energy sector, to meet the needs of rural populations among others, should not only remain a priority in the sustainable development agenda, but is compatible with the degrowth agenda.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 12:45
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-9
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Technology and science for degrowth


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