One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals according to the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 is to ‘ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy’. To equalize development opportunities in the world in a sustainable way, it is necessary to mobilize entrepreneurs and authorities on a state scale. As soon as possible, of course. Why is the energy issue such an important problem and how can we meet the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal 7? Let’s take a closer look.
Why are changes in energetics and energy distribution necessary?
Energy is crucial for every challenge and opportunity faced by man today. It is essential in almost every occupation, in fighting against climate change (and causing it) or in food production. Focusing on universal, equal access to energy, increasing its efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy in its overall production is crucial to create more sustainable and inclusive communities and resilience to environmental problems such as, for example, climate change.
Today, around the world, about one billion people lack access to electricity. More than half of them live in developing countries. Unfortunately, developing in a not-so-balanced manner, building coal-fired power plants. About 3 billion people still rely on burning coal, wood and livestock feces. At the same time, an increasing number of people suffer from air pollution, and the climate disaster is progressing without slowing down the pace. As a reminder – the energy sector is responsible for the emission of about 60% of greenhouse gases.
What modifications, under Sustainable Development Goal 7, are necessary then?
In 2015, the total share of renewable energy in energy in general amounted to 17.5%. That seems good but not even nearly good enough. Pure energy is therefore a central issue for the implementation of Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goal 7.
Countries that have signed the 2030 Agenda and at the same time have committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, have a lot to do. Until 2030, they should take on:
- effective distribution and provision of universal access to inexpensive, reliable and modern energy services;
- increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix;
- doubling the rate of improvement of energy efficiency;
- strengthen international cooperation to facilitate access to research and technology in the field of clean energy, energy efficiency as well as advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technology, and promote investments in energy infrastructure and renewable energy technologies;
- developing infrastructure and modernizing technologies to provide modern and sustainable energy services, in particular in the least-developed countries, small island developing countries and developing countries without access to the sea, in accordance with their support programs.
Changes are tricky but possible!
Despite clear-stated energy targets, progress in this area is still too slow and insufficient. This challenge is far from being solved. According to Agenda, more progress should be made in the field of the inclusion of renewable energy for direct use in buildings, transport and industry. Public and private investments in energy should also be increased. In order to effectively transform global energy systems, it also seems essential to focus on the regulatory framework and innovative business models.