SDG 7: Affordable And Clean Energy
There is no development without fuelling the engine of growth. Energy is critical, and people with no sustainable access to energy are deprived of the opportunity to become part of national and global progress. And yet, one billion people around the world live without access to energy. More than 781 million people in 2016, or 39% of the world’s population, do not
have access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking.
Why is this important?
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has said, “Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability. With access to energy, people can study, go to university, get a job, start a business – and reach their full potential.” Energy is
central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today – security, climate change, food production, jobs or increasing incomes. Sustainable energy generates opportunity – it transforms lives, economies, and the planet. There are tangible health benefits to having access to electricity, and a demonstrable improvement in wellbeing. Energy access therefore constitutes a core component of the sustainable development agenda for energy. The production of useable energy can also be a source for climate change – accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
How can we address this
Goal 7 of the SDGs aims to correct this enormous imbalance by ensuring everyone has access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by the year 2030. To expand energy access, it is crucial to enhance energy efficiency and to invest in renewable energy. Asia has been the driver of progress in this
area, expanding access at twice the rate of demographic growth. 72% of the increase in energy consumption from modern renewable sources between 2010 and 2012 came from developing regions, including parts of Asia. Energy from renewable resources – wind, water, solar, biomass and geothermal energy – is inexhaustible and clean. Although the solution to energy’s climate crisis lies off-grid, renewable
energy currently constitutes only 15% of the global energy mix. It is time for a new global partnership on sustainable energy for all, guided by Sustainable Development Goal 7 on universally accessible, efficient, clean, and reliable energy sources and services.