To ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Our everyday lives depend on reliable and affordable energy services to function smoothly and to develop equitably. A well-established energy system supports all sectors: from businesses, medicine and education to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high-technology. Conversely, lack of access to energy supplies and transformation systems is a constraint to human and economic development.
I have access to electricity. Why should I care about this goal?
For many decades, fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas have been major sources of electricity production, but burning carbon fuels produces large amounts of cause climate change and have harmful impacts on people’s well-being and the environment. This
affects everyone, not just a few. Moreover, global electricity use is rising rapidly.
In a nutshell, without a stable electricity supply, countries will not be able to power their economies.
How many people are living without electricity?
Over 1.2 billion people—one in five people of the world’s population— do not have access
to electricity. The majority are concentrated in about a dozen countries in Africa and Asia. Without electricity, women and girls have to spend hours fetching water, clinics cannot store vaccines for children, many schoolchildren cannot do homework at night,
and people cannot run competitive businesses. Another 2.8 billion people rely on wood, charcoal, dung and coal for cooking and heating, which results in over four million premature deaths a year due to indoor air pollution.
What would it cost to switch to more sustainable energy?
The world needs to triple its investment in sustainable energy infrastructure per year, from around $400 billion now to $1.25 trillion by 2030. Regions with the greatest energy deficits—SubSaharan Africa and South Asia—need our help to improve energy access. That includes pushing harder to find clean, efficient, and affordable alternatives to health-damaging cook stoves.
What can we do to fix these issues?
Countries 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. Businesses can maintain and protect ecosystems to be able to use and further develop hydropower sources of electricity and bioenergy, and commit to sourcing 100% of operational electricity needs from renewable sources. Employers can reduce the internal demand for transport by prioritizing telecommunications and incentivize less energy intensive modes such as train travel over
auto and air travel. Investors can invest more in sustainable energy services,
bringing new technologies to the market quickly from a diverse supplier base. You can save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely
when not in use, including your computer. You can also bike, walk or take public transport to reduce carbon emissions.