Report urges oil and gas multinationals to tackle energy poverty in host nations

The International Institute for Environment and Development has today (22 June) published a report that urges global oil and gas companies to improve energy security for communities in the countries where they operate.

News, 22 June 2009

The report focuses on Nigeria, a country with huge energy resources and foreign investment in the sector but also serious poverty and environmental challenges.

It identifies ways in which multinational companies, donors, government agencies and non-governmental organisations are acting to improve people's access to energy. But it points out that very few of these initiatives have been scaled up or replicated.

"Multinational companies are increasingly expected to help to address development challenges in their host nations, and there are strong business cases for them doing so," says Emma Wilson, a senior researcher at IIED and co-author of the report.

"Our research shows, however, that international oil and gas companies in Nigeria have yet to appreciate the opportunities for helping to address the energy poverty that harms the prospects of millions of people there."

The report urges oil and gas companies to do more through approaches such as diverting gas for local needs rather than flaring it, by directing community investment funds towards developing renewable energy projects with local partners, and by engaging in policy dialogue to promote decentralisation of sustainable power generation to the community level.