This paper proposes the existence of a human right to access clean energy in view of trends favoring greater resort to renewable energy sources within several parallel policy contexts. The existing international framework for the protection and promotion of human rights may be applied to support an entitlement to access energy for individual benefit. However, the application of human rights norms to an appropriate energy source must also be compatible with the contemporary sustainable development agenda. This includes balancing economic development, sustainably using natural resources, environmental protection and poverty alleviation. A human rights approach must also be sufficiently receptive to similarities and differences in the energy strategies of developed and developing States. It is argued that a human right to access clean energy more accurately reflects intergovernmental concerns for both human development and environmental sustainability. While such a right can be employed to satisfy basic human needs, enhance living standards, maintain good human health and alleviate poverty, it can also contribute to the efficient use of existing natural resources, the prevention of climate change and environmental protection.

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