SHINE: A call to action from faith and philanthropic leaders committed to scaling energy access investment

An emerging global campaign on energy access, Shine: Investing in Energy Access for All, was revealed at this month’s Sustainable Energy for All Forum - focusing on diversifying the sources of finance to support energy access.

The campaign will unite partners from the faith, development and philanthropic sectors to commit to mobilizing new forms of capital, scaling resources and generating momentum to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and reliable energy by 2030 and support Sustainable Development Goal 7.

As the campaign was revealed by partners at the Forum, it was also confirmed that World Council of Churches – which brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians – committed to join the campaign.

Shine will now work to recruit more leading voices and organisations to join the campaign, with a goal that major commitments will be announced one year from now that all work towards and support the historic opportunity of ending energy poverty.

“Civil society must play its role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the Paris Agreement - ensuring that no one is left behind,” said Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). “Holding to account all those who made commitments and working in partnership to speed the rate of change are twin roles for civil society. By uniting together, we can unlock new sources of financing and connect communities, local government and entrepreneurs to investors to close the energy access gap that supports better healthcare, education and economic growth to the people who need it the most.”

Nearly one sixth of the world’s population live without access to electricity, with a further 3 billion people who still rely on kerosene, wood, crop waste, dung, and other biomass to cook and heat their homes. 

Shine will scale investments in distributed clean energy solutions, while partnering with communities to realize powerful benefits for health, education and livelihoods that will support work towards ending energy poverty and unlocking new opportunities for billions of people.

“Faith communities recognize that the Earth is a gift which we must protect from climate change; these same communities have worked for centuries to fight poverty,” said Archbishop Emeritus Anders Wejryd of the Church of Sweden and President of the World Council of Churches for Europe. “By championing the development of distributed renewable energy in energy-poor regions, Shine can become a powerful beacon of hope when the world needs it most.”

"As the world transitions to a new energy economy, foundations can ensure that no one is left behind. Using both our grants and investments, we must prioritize bringing safe, clean and affordable energy to those who currently lack access', said Dr. Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund.

"With dedicated effort, targeted resources, and real collaboration we can end global energy poverty by 2030, consistent with SDG 7. The goal is urgent and doable, but it requires unprecedented collaboration. Wallace Global Fund is proud to partner with Sustainable Energy for All and leaders from the faith, philanthropic and NGO sectors to build an exciting new initiative, SHINE. Together we will show how renewable energy, not fossil fuels, is the key to economic empowerment and social justice."

Speaking at a press conference to support the launch of the Shine, Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Climate Justice Foundation, said: “Although we talk about sustainable energy for all we have not emphasized the all. We need to accelerate to reach the furthest behind first. My hope is the Shine campaign will be the kind of breakthrough we need."

Partners to the campaign pledge aggressive and sustained action on energy access, through programs, grants and investments. By championing distributed energy solutions, advocating for enabling policies, increasing the flow of financial resources, and strengthening the capacity of communities, Shine will catalyse distributed clean energy development at scale to meet universal access.

Early supporters of the campaign include Sustainable Energy for All, GreenFaith, Wallace Global Fund, World Council of Churches, American Jewish World Service, Ashden Trust, CAFOD, Church of Sweden, Oxfam USA, the Hanley Foundation, Global Catholic Climate Movement, PowerforAll, ActionAid.

For more information, visit the Shine website here.