Empowering DevelopingNations: A Pragmatic Approachto Energy Sustainability

Drew Biemer

In the global pursuit of sustainable energy, the narrative often revolves around the imperative to transition swiftly away from fossil fuels.

While this transition is crucial for mitigating climate change, it is equally vital to acknowledge the nuanced realities faced by developing countries. Pressuring these nations to abandon fossil fuels without providing viable alternatives is tantamount to neocolonialism, perpetuating a cycle of dependency and inequality.

Fossil fuels have undeniably played a pivotal role in the development of modern societies, lifting millions out of energy poverty and catalysing economic growth.

Yet, despite these advances, more than 600 million people in Africa alone still lack access to reliable power.

For these communities, access to affordable and consistent energy is not a luxury but a necessity for basic human needs, education, healthcare and economic development.


Wealthy nations, while leading the charge towards clean energy, must recognise their responsibility to empower rather than dictate the energy policies of developing nations.

Instead of imposing blanket restrictions on fossil fuel usage, they should prioritise collaborative efforts aimed at sustainable development and energy access for all.

One approach is for wealthy nations to share their technological advancements and expertise in renewable energy with developing countries.

By investing in research and development, wealthy nations can drive down the costs of clean energy technologies, making them more accessible to all nations.

Additionally, they can provide financial support and capacity building to aid in the implementation and maintenance of renewable energy infrastructure.

However, it is equally important for wealthy nations to respect the sovereignty of developing countries and recognise their right to harness their own resources, including fossil fuels, as they work towards energy independence and economic growth.

This does not imply a carte blanche endorsement of unrestrained fossil fuel extraction, but rather a pragmatic acknowledgment of the role that fossil fuels can play in the short to medium-term energy strategies of these nations.


Empowering developing nations to utilise their fossil fuel resources responsibly involves investing in clean technology to mitigate environmental impacts, promoting transparency and accountability in resource governance, and supporting initiatives for diversifying their energy mix. Moreover, it necessitates fostering an inclusive dialogue where the voices and priorities of local communities are central to decision-making processes.

By adopting a holistic approach that combines the pursuit of clean energy innovation with the empowerment of developing nations, we can chart a path towards a more equitable and sustainable energy future.

This approach recognises the interconnectedness of global energy challenges and the imperative of solidarity and cooperation in addressing them.


The transition to a sustainable energy future requires a nuanced understanding of the diverse needs and challenges faced by nations at different stages of development.

Wealthy nations have a moral obligation to support, rather than dictate, the energy policies of developing countries.

By fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge and respecting sovereignty, we can build a more resilient and inclusive energy ecosystem that benefits all humankind.

  • Drew Biemer is a management and communications professional with 20 years experience in public, governmental and civil affairs. He currently serves as an agency director with oversight of energy generation, transmission, storage and resource extraction in the US State of New Hampshire

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