The term “energy poverty” refers to people who do not have access to electricity and clean cooking facilities. Globally, 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity in their houses and 2.6 billion people cook by burning coal, wood and other solid fuels. This has major impacts on people’s health, safety and quality of life.The coal industry is very vocal in promoting energy poverty and pushing coal as a solution to it. The head of major coal company Peabody Energy describes energy poverty as “the world’s number one human and environmental crisis”.However, what Peabody says and what it does about energy poverty are very different. Although the company contributes to many charitable causes, it does not donate money, staff time, expertise or discounted fuel to any project that directly alleviates energy poverty.

Originally published by The Australian on November 7, 2014

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