A former executive with Shell Oil Company and Royal Dutch Shell, David Lawrence most recently served as head of global exploration and executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas in Houston, Texas. Today, David Lawrence is CEO of Lawrence Energy Group LLC, a director for Stone Energy Corporation and Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. He contributes articles to The Energy Collective blog on various climate and energy topics, such as the global impact of energy poverty.
Although energy services are often easily accessible in developed countries, nearly 1 in 5 people worldwide do not have electricity in their homes, and millions of others lack safe, reliable, and/or affordable access to energy. In addition, over 2.5 billion people rely on traditional biomass fuel sources—wood, dung, crop wastes, etc.—to heat their homes and cook their food.
This energy poverty stalls human and economic development, leads to health complications, and shortens adult life expectancy. Burning traditional biomass exposes families to harmful indoor air pollution, which causes respiratory illness that is responsible for more than 4 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization. Also, hospitals without electricity have trouble treating many curable conditions, especially those related to pregnancy and birth.
A number of government, corporate, and nonprofit organizations are currently working to address energy poverty around the world. Many of these organizations have partnered with the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which seeks to achieve universal access to modern energy services by 2030. For more information about the initiative, visit www.se4all.org.
Utilizing decades of experience as a geologist and business leader, David Lawrence formerly held the position of executive vice president with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston with responsibilities including exploration.