Powering Peace

Renewable Energy in Conflict-Affected Countries

Roughly a billion people worldwide are impacted by the overlap of conflict, climate change, and energy scarcity. International humanitarian and peace operations are deployed to address such fragility, provide relief, and strengthen peace.

We believe that by changing how they use energy, these operations can maximize both their positive impact and better help the communities they serve.

Dive Into the story

Powering Peace: Renewable Energy in Conflict-Affected Countries

The full story of Powering Peace, Stimson’s joint initiative with Energy Peace Partners

Energy + Security Impact

Powering Peace aims to support the United Nations and international agencies in facilitating a clean energy transition in a timely and predictable manner, a shift that could deliver important benefits. We believe this could:

  • Increase efficiency and save money at a time when the demand for peacekeeping and humanitarian operations is outpacing resources.
  • Enhance security for missions and communities by reducing dependence on diesel fuel with treacherous supply chains.
  • Introduce economically sustainable energy infrastructure in the least electrified places.
  • Reduce pollution, decrease carbon emissions, and mitigate the environmental impact of field operations.
  • Provide local communities with improved energy access and related benefits,
  • Create new building blocks for sustainable peace in fragile settings.

ahead of the curve

In September 2019 the Secretary General of the United Nations announced new clean energy goals for United Nations missions, putting Powering Peace ahead of the curve as the UN kicks off its effort to reach 80% renewable energy use by 2030.

Conflict, Energy & Climate

850 million people

Over 850 million people live in the 27 countries that are most affected by conflict/fragility, low access to energy, and climate change — primarily in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia (Bangladesh, Myanmar, Afghanistan), and Haiti.

Costly and global

$35 billion dollars

From South Sudan to Syria, the international community is stretched, spending roughly $35 billion in 2016 alone on humanitarian aid and UN peacekeeping operations.

Less Cost, More Change

We estimate that these missions spend roughly a billion dollars annually on energy. While global energy trends support greater use of renewable, sustainable power, much of the UN system is not yet able or designed to make that shift.

These missions often deploy to countries with poor electrification and rely on diesel generators for power. This can have unintended consequences, adversely impacting economic, security, political, and environmental objectives.

The existing approach warrants a fresh look.

Making the Shift a Reality

Powering Peace will research the energy practice of field operations and policies to see what could be modernized at the headquarters and field level, identify incentives and disincentives, and map out the short- and longer-term costs and benefits.

We will also conduct field work and case studies to access the role energy plays in fragile states, the practice around energy provision, and whether, where and how renewable energy can support peacebuilding.

Powering Peace is a joint initiative of the Stimson Center and Energy Peace Partners

Powering Peace is working to facilitate a shift toward renewable energy throughout the UN system as a way to leverage resources for field missions to increase use of clean energy, improve security and efficiency, unlock long-term cost savings and introduce new energy infrastructure to areas most in need.

To support this work, contact Sarah Savoy.

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