About 770 million people still do not have access to electricity today. For millions of families in the Global South, a homemade kerosene lamp is the only option. It is a dim source of light that limits what people can do after dark. It is also dangerous and expensive. Burning kerosene emits toxic black carbon, damages eyes and lungs, and frequently causes house fires. And buying the fuel for their lamps can cost a family up to $100 a year – compared to less than $5 a year needed to use a LED light for ten hours a day in the Global North.
While kerosene lamps are highly polluting, the vast majority of the world’s emissions originate in the Global North. Yet those in the Global South – many living in energy poverty – are the worst impacted by global heating.