• Editorial

Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All


WHAT IS SDG 7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY?

SDG 7 seeks to ensure access to affordable, secure, sustainable and modern energy for all. This requires a doubling of the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, as well as a substantial increase in the share of renewables in the energy mix.

WHY IS SDG 7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY SO IMPORTANT?

Some 570 million people, live without electricity and even 75% of the population lack access to electricity.[1]Also, today almost 3 billion people in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa still cook with polluting fuels (wood, charcoal, dung or footprint), representing 40% of the world's population[2].


This lack of access to safe and sustainable energy causes serious problems for both humans and the environment. The UN reports that four million premature deaths occur as a result of air pollution from burning biomass for cooking and heating. Furthermore, according to the UN, energy accounts for 60 % of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the main factor responsible for climate change[3].


Addressing this situation has become an overriding international goal, which is why the UN has established the need to ensure access to affordable, secure, sustainable, and modern energy for all as SDG 7 of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda.

SDG 7 TARGETS: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY


Although the proportion of people without access to electricity has more than halved since 2000, more needs to be done to end this situation or 674 million people will still be without electricity in 2030 and 2.3 billion people will still be using polluting cooking methods.

For this reason, the targets set for 2030 are:

  • Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.

  • Increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix. Increase international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology.

  • Expand infrastructure and improve technology to provide modern, sustainable energy services for all.

Pandemic is reversing progress. Millions of people lost access to electricity. Relying on harmful and polluting fuels is making the poor more vulnerable to COVID-19. Heating, transport, and electricity are the main energy consumers which need systematic investments to become more efficient and renewable energy-based. The issue is that most of the energy efficiency and renewable energy investments are spent on more developed countries than the poor ones that need more help. Some reconsideration is needed about the commitments.



[1] UNCTHD: Over half of the people in least developed countries lack access to electricity. https://unctad.org/topic/least-developed-countries/chart-july-2021

[2] WHO 2020

[3] Vereinte Nationen. Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung. Bericht 2020