Despite accelerated progress over the past decade, the world will fall short of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030 unless efforts are scaled up significantly, Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report reveals. It was released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the document, significant progress was made on various aspects of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 prior to the start of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes a notable reduction in the number of people worldwide lacking access to electricity, renewable energy for electricity, and improvements in energy efficiency.
Global efforts remain insufficient to reach the key targets of SDG 7 by 2030
Despite these advances, global efforts remain insufficient to reach the key targets of SDG 7 by 2030, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which led this year’s edition of the report, said in a press release.
The number of people without access to electricity declined from 1.2 billion in 2010 to 789 million in 2018
The number of people without access to electricity declined from 1.2 billion in 2010 to 789 million in 2018. However, under policies that were either in place or planned before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, an estimated 620 million people would still lack access in 2030, 85% of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. SDG 7 includes universal energy access by 2030.
Other important elements of the goal also continue to be off track, the report underlines.
Almost 3 billion people remained without access to clean cooking in 2017, mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The rate was largely stagnant since 2010, resulting in millions of deaths each year from breathing cooking smoke.
The share of renewable energy in the global energy mix is only inching up gradually, despite the rapid growth of wind and solar power in electricity generation.
An increased emphasis on “leaving no one behind” is required
An acceleration of renewables across all sectors is required to move closer to reaching SDG 7, with advances in heating and transport currently lagging far behind their potential.
“Accelerating the pace of progress in all regions and sectors will require stronger political commitment, long-term energy planning, increased public and private financing, and adequate policy and fiscal incentives to spur faster deployment of new technologies. An increased emphasis on “leaving no one behind” is required, given the large proportion of the population without access in remote, rural, poorer and vulnerable communities,” according to the press release.
SDG 7 tracking report
This is the sixth edition of this report, formerly known as the Global Tracking Framework (GTF).
The five custodian agencies were designated by the UN Statistical Commission to compile and verify country data, along with regional and global aggregates, in relation to the progress in achieving the SDG 7 goals.
The report presents policymakers and development partners with global, regional and country-level data
The report presents policymakers and development partners with global, regional and country-level data to inform decisions and identify priorities for a sustainable recovery from COVID-19 that scales up affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy.
The report has been transmitted to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to inform the annual review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.