SDG 7 Courses: Affordable and Clean Energy

Access to energy is essential for all people since our jobs, security, climate change, increasing incomes and food production largely depend on it. Nevertheless, around 13 per cent of population worldwide still lacks access to modern electricity, while around three billion people still use animal waste, wood, coal or charcoal for heating and cooking. Energy also contributes to climate change. It has been estimated that around 60 per cent of global greenhouse emissions were dominated by energy. Combustible fuels that are used for generating household energies caused around 4.3 million deaths in 2012, with majority of women and girls being the victims.

Reliable energy is central to nearly every major challenge we face today. It supports a variety of sectors from businesses, medicine, and education to infrastructure, agriculture, communications and high-technology. Therefore, the goal by 2030 is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Achieving this goal is particularly important since it is interlinked with other Sustainable Development Goals. It is crucial for forming more inclusive and sustainable communities as well as generating resilience for addressing environmental issues such as climate change. The most affected region is Sub-Saharan Africa with nearly 573 million people still lacking access to electricity. This entails many other issues, such as women and girls having to spend hours fetching water and hospitals not being able to store vaccines for children.

To achieve sustainable energy, the number of investments in sustainable energy infrastructure per year needs to triple, from around $ 400 billion at the present to $ 1.25 trillion by 2030. Governments can transition to using sustainable energy by adopting clean energy technologies and infrastructure, investing in renewable energy resources and prioritizing energy efficient practices. Similarly, businesses and corporations can commit to using electricity from renewable sources, while employers can use more telecommunications over using trains and cars for their internal demands for transport. As a citizen, you can save energy by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning then off when not in use. You can take public transport, walk or ride a bike to help reduce carbon emissions. People should have more access to clean technologies and fuel and more progress should be made to integrate renewable technologies in industries, transports and buildings. Last, but not least, there should be more private and public investments in energy as well as more concentration on framing and adoption of regulatory frameworks and innovative business models that will contribute to transformation of energy systems around the world.

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