Renewable Energy Use and Livelihoods in Informal Settlements in Accra

Tracy Sidney Commodore,

University of Ghana, Ghana

Undoubtedly, most livelihoods in cities in the Global South are highly dependent on natural resource utilization. Some of these natural resources are used for energy to provide power which is key to the realization of livelihoods. In Ghana for instance, biofuel energy resources such as wood fuel are used for food related livelihood activities. Unfortunately, the unsustainable utilization of these resources have consequential impact on biodiversity conservation and depletion of forest reserves, and thus can derail efforts aimed at achieving targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 15. It is within this context that there has been increasing need for newer forms of technologies to provide alternative to biofuel. In order to introduce new ways of providing energy within low-income communities, investing in newer forms of local technologies and improving their accessibility and utilization by low-income people is an important step forward in reducing over reliance on biofuels. Gaining empirical evidence on the potential adoption and adaptation to improved energy technologies for enhancing livelihoods in informal settlements in Ghana is crucial. This will help to ensure that we meet target 2 of the SDGs 15, which aims to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests, and increase afforestation and reforestation especially in the Global South. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to examine the institutional and policy framework on conservation of natural resources and the potential use of locally improved energy technologies in informal settlements in Accra.