Energy is a central element for almost all the most important challenges and opportunities that the world is facing today.
Whether it is for work, security, climate change, food production or increased income, access to energy is essential.
Sustainable energy is an opportunity: it transforms life, the economy and the planet.
Energy is the main cause of climate change, accounting for about 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action program for people, the planet and prosperity, signed in September 2015 by the governments of the 193 UN member countries.
It encompasses 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The official launch of the Sustainable Development Goals coincided with the beginning of 2016, leading the world on the way to go over the next 15 years: the countries, in fact, are committed to achieving them by the end of 2030.
The Development Goals follow up on the results of the Millennium Development Goals that preceded them and represent common goals on a set of important development issues, such as the fight against poverty, the eradication of hunger, the fight against climate change, etc.
Among these Goals is affordable and clean and energy, which occupies the seventh point.
Access to energy is an essential prerequisite for the achievement of many sustainable development goals.
Today 1.6 billion people depend on traditional biomass as a source of energy. Goal 7 therefore supports access for all to reliable, modern and affordable energy supply services.
Since sustainable development is based on environmentally friendly economic development assumptions, the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix will have to be significantly increased and the rate of increase in energy efficiency worldwide will have to be doubled.
Research in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors will be encouraged as well as investments in infrastructure and clean energy technologies.
- Ensure access to energy services that are affordable, reliable and modern by the end of 2030.
- Considerably increase the share of renewable energies in total energy consumption by the end of 2030.
- Double the global rate of energy efficiency improvement by the end of 2030.
- Increase international cooperation by the end of 2030 to facilitate access to research and technologies related to clean energy – including renewable resources, energy efficiency and the most advanced and cleanest fossil fuel technologies – and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technologies.
- Implement infrastructure and improve technologies to provide modern and sustainable energy services by the end of 2030, especially in less developed countries, small islands and landlocked developing states, in accordance with their respective support programs.
AN ENCOURAGING TREND
Goal 7 has shown encouraging signs, with a significant spread of the use of renewable energy sources. Access to electricity has also increased in the poorest countries, along with another decisive factor: energy efficiency.
More and more people, therefore, are exploiting electricity: the percentage of the world population that has access to this service has steadily increased from 2010 to 2017 (9 out of 10 people).
Percentage of the population that has access to electricity: comparison between the years 2000 and 2017 (Source: The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019).
FACTS AND FIGURES
However, we must point out that today about 840 million people are deprived of this essential service.
In addition, 3 billion people in the world still lack adequate technology and clean fuels to cook food (es. sub-Saharan Africa).
Percentage of population with access to clean technologies and fuels for cooking (Source: The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019).
This also has a great impact on people and society: in low and middle income countries, in fact, inefficient and polluting cooking systems are a risk factor for the health of the populations; for this reason, it is very important that this goal is achieved by the end of 2030.