One out of 10 people still lacks electricity, and most live in rural areas of the developing world. More than half are in sub-Saharan Africa. Energy is by far the main contributor to climate change. It accounts for 73 percent of human-caused greenhouse gases. Almost a third of the world’s population—2.8 billion—rely on polluting and unhealthy fuels for cooking. These are only a few of the striking facts about energy situation in the world.
Modern society depends on reliable and affordable energy services to function smoothly and to develop equitably. A well-established energy system supports all sectors from medicine and education to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high-technology. Intensive development patterns have historically relied on inexpensive and energy-dense fossil fuels, which also happen to be the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. However, new, clean technologies are available that can reorient development along a more sustainable trajectory.
SDG 7 is calling to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all will open a new world of opportunities for billions of people through new economic opportunities and jobs, empowered women, children and youth, better education and health, more sustainable, equitable and inclusive communities, and greater protections from, and resilience to, climate change.
The governments and policy makers can help in advancement of SDG7 by strengthening political will round the issue, increasing levels of investment and action by all stakeholders to scale up the deployment of renewable energy technologies, and improvements in energy efficiency.
Business can accelerate the transition to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system by investing in renewable energy resources, prioritizing energy efficient practices, and adopting clean energy technologies and infrastructure. Also, with investment in R&D, businesses can innovate and pioneer new technologies that change the status quo of the global energy system, becoming the center of climate change solutions.
Individuals can contribute by adjusting their habits and lifestyle to become more responsible energy consumers. For example, it can be allocating the most energy-consuming activities outside peak hours. installing solar panels and heat pumps for meeting houshold energy needs, using more sustainable means of transport, and also educate themselves about careful and efficient energy use.
Learn more: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal7