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Lack of investment in clean energy risks leaving world’s poorest behind

The World Health Organization estimates that around four million people – many of them women and children – die every year from indoor air pollution caused by dirty energy.

The report finds that $36 billion has been invested in clean energy such as solar power – far short of the $51 billion needed.

And for clean cooking the story is even “bleaker”, the report says. Only $32m has been invested, less than one per cent of the $4.5bn needed to provide clean cookers to everyone in need. 

The report warns that this lack of progress is now an “environmental and public health issue”.

Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly lagging behind, the report warns, with 573m people without access to electricity. In 10 of the 13 countries studied investment actually fell in 2018, compared with 2017.

Dr Barbara Buchner, one of the report’s authors, said that population growth in Africa was a particular problem. 

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