Maldistribution of energy consumption

Other Names:
Inequality in energy use
Disparities in energy consumption

The rich industrialized countries are consuming over 75% of world energy production, although they only include 25% of the world population. If everyone consumed as much energy as the average person in the developed countries, global energy use would rise around 15-fold.


In 1994, the 1 billion people of the North used 70 percent of global energy, 13 terewatts; the 5 billion people of the South used the remaining 30 percent. In 1993, 25% of all fossil fuel used annually was consumed by the USA. The amount of energy used by one person in the USA is equivalent to that used by 3 Japanese, 6 Mexicans, 14 Chinese, 38 Indians, 168 Bangladeshi and 531 Ethiopians. The effect is further multiplied by life inequality. In a year an American uses 300 times as much energy as a Malian; over a lifetime he will use 500 times as much.

Broader Problems:
Energy crisis
Human inequality
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST