EUEI PDF: Enlightening the Migration Debate: the Importance of Sustainable Energy Access

January 31, 2017   |   Brussels, Belgium

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10:00 - 17:00 CET 

As part of its mandate to promote sustainable energy access in Africa, Asia and Latin America and to promote dialogue on this topic, the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) will host a discussion forum in Brussels on the nexus between Sustainable Energy Access and Migration. The forum provides a platform for exchanges between a variety of actors, including members of the EU Commission, EU member state representatives, energy policy actors and development/ humanitarian aid practitioners, to identify the current and potential contribution of energy development solutions to the current Migration debate.

Please note, this event is invite only.


The forum aims to explore interlinkages between sustainable energy access and migration. On the one hand, to discuss the role that energy access plays in tackling the root causes of migration; on the other, to identify better solutions for energy access in humanitarian settings.


In 2013, 232 million people worldwide were living outside their country of origin and according to estimates, one billion people moved internally to another place of residence within their country of birth. According to UNHCR, 65.3 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced in 2015 with the average resettlement waiting period for a refugee being 17 years.

Increasing international migration flows place growing demand on host countries’ resources including energy services while simultaneously the international donor community is pushing for efficient use of funds earmarked for humanitarian aid and development, migration and energy programmes. The EU is making great strides in addressing migration and displacement, and is the largest contributor of funding toward energy development cooperation. Grounded in the need to address the root causes of migration and to maximise positive impacts on development, the sustainable energy-migration nexus is central to the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and the External Investment Plan, as is indicated in the 2016 EU Council Conclusions on Sustainable Energy for Development.

The Nexus

The role of energy access on migration can be analysed before and after migration has occurred. Firstly, before migration takes place, modern energy provision contributes to socio-economic development by improving education and health services. Since energy is an enabler which underlies all economic activity, it is posited that sustainable energy access can help improve livelihoods, which, in turn, addresses some of the structural causes for migration. Secondly, energy access enables basic human needs such as food and shelter to be met, which need to be addressed acutely in humanitarian situations after conflict or disaster.

The Forum Aims to Discuss

  • How can sustainable energy help tackle structural causes of migration, particularly economic and climate-related drivers?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for providing sustainable energy access to displaced populations and host communities?
  • How can the coordination to transition from emergency humanitarian aid to long-term development planning in the energy sector be promoted?
  • What are the links with other sectors such as local government, spatial planning, legal employment and social protection systems?

The Expected Outcomes Are To:

  • Take stock of the activities undertaken by the EU and other donors on the nexus between sustainable energy and migration;
  • Establish a dialogue platform for the energy and migration communities and identify opportunities for more effective and coordinated interventions before and after migration, for example for improved sustainable energy access in humanitarian settings, taking into account coordination, long term planning and effective approaches and business models.

Click "Download PDF" below to see a draft agenda for the event.

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