Almost 130 years since the electric light bulb was invented, over 2 billion people on the planet have no access to electricity. In order to survive, people living in the developing world must use traditional fuel sources (wood, kerosene), which are extremely detrimental to the environment and contribute to global warming. Providing the poor with cleaner, renewable energy will not only enable development, but will also aid tremendously in the fight against climate change. Yet, this solution is often ignored by world leaders.
Harish Hande argues that providing renewable energy, such as solar electricity, to the developing world is possible. According to him, tying renewable energy to microfinance programs can break people out of poverty and improve environmental quality. Programs must directly target the poor, as providing them with clean energy is vital not only for their survival, but for tackling climate change.