Despite significant progress in recent years, the world is falling short of meeting the global energy targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030.
This was the view put forth in a report produced 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).
Ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 remains possible but will require sustained effort.
Progress has been made on energy access in recent years, with the number of people living without electricity dropping to roughly 840 mn in 2018 from 1.2 bn in 2010. India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Myanmar are among countries that made the most progress since 2010. However, without more sustained action, 650 mn people will still be left without access to electricity in 2030. Nine out of ten of them will be living in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report said that major efforts have been made to deploy renewable energy technology and to improve energy efficiency across the world. Nonetheless, access to clean cooking solutions and the use of renewable energy in heat generation and transport are still lagging far behind the goals.
Maintaining and extending the pace of progress will require stronger political commitment, long-term energy planning, increased private financing and adequate policy and fiscal incentives to spur faster deployment of new technologies.
Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said: “We need to do more to put the world on track to meet all SDG7 targets. I am particularly concerned by the dramatic lack of access to reliable, modern and sustainable energy in certain parts of the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, a region where we need to really concentrate our efforts. The IEA will continue to cooperate with countries and organisations to make sure that successful solutions are efficiently deployed so that the sustainable energy revolution leaves no one behind.”
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