Many of us already know about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the set of 17 goals created by the United Nations that aimed at bringing about a revolutionary global development by 2030. These 17 goals were designed with a unique idea and different perspective in mind, with each goal serving a purpose that can help combat the growing climatic issues and their hostile impacts and create a sustainable future. Sustainable Development Goal 7 is one of these 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable Development Goal 7’s main purpose lies in ensuring access to a safe, affordable, and reliable supply of modern energy worldwide. In this article, we will focus on Sustainable Development Goal 7 and how we should participate in achieving this global goal.
What is Sustainable Development Goal 7?
So let’s get into the details of Sustainable Development Goal 7. Sustainable Development Goal 7 is all about clean and affordable energy that will become essential in the future. Mentioned below are a few facts and figures that will help bring more clarity to this subject and shed more light on the urgency of accomplishing this goal.
- Every 1 in 7 people still do not have a stable electricity supply
- Energy not produced sustainably, contributes majorly to climate change because it produces around 60 percent of greenhouse gases.
- Around 40 percent of the world’s population is forced to depend on unhealthy fuels for cooking. That is 3 billion people who rely on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste for cooking and heating
- Since 1990, global emissions of CO2 have increased by more than 46 percent.
- Energy that is not sustainably produced and used is a dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions
Why is Sustainable Development Goal 7 important?
The answer to this question can be answered simply by highlighting the importance of clean and affordable energy, which are so vast. The lack of access to energy supplies and transformation systems can prove to become a source of major constraint and halt the on-going process of human and economic development. Without the availability of energy resources, hundreds of industries generating revenue in sums of billions and trillions will collapse and basic daily life activities will become burdensome. Moreover, excessive use of fossil fuels without taking any actions to mitigate greenhouse gases have continued to result in climate change implications since the past few decades and will continue to create the same issues and will eventually become a major threat to every sector that is working to make planet earth and its precious resources more sustainable, unless we act quickly and efficiently, hence the need for coming up with sustainable development goal 7. With sustainable development goal 7, we can aim for a more sustainable future, especially with the help of the set targets that were broken down by the UN.
Sustainable Development Goal 7’s Set Targets:
The founding organization of this development program wishes to achieve the following targets in the upcoming years:
- To increase the contribution of renewable energy in the global energy mix
- To make energy more effective
- To ensure easy and fast access to modern energy across the globe by 2030
- To expand infrastructure and improve technology facilities with the incentive of supplying modern and sustainable energy services in particular to the under-privileged
Why is it important to achieve the set targets?
Between the years 2000 and 2016 while the number of people that were privileged enough to enjoy electricity supply increased from 78 to 87 percent, the number of people that did not have access to electricity still numbered just below 1 billion. Moreover, as the population increases to grow, so does the demand for electricity and with a significant number of people burning fossil fuels already to satisfy this need, the problem of climate change has further intensified and questions about the sustainability of energy have come into existence. So with this massive increase in population and hence the demand, it became crucial to set such targets.
What have we achieved so far?
Progress made towards achieving this goal has been quite slow and gradual. But together the global community has worked to raise great awareness on this topic internationally. A report from 2019 has gathered information about the progress that has been made so far (Special Edition: progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals). It states that electricity access has been expanded in several countries like Kenya, Bangladesh, and India. The global population without electricity also reduced to 840 million in 2017 from 1.2 billion in 2010.
After reading the above information, you must be wondering, how can we help? What part can we as individuals play to help make energy more sustainable?
So listed below are several ways you can fulfill your energy/electricity demands in a sustainable and environment-friendly way.
Using wind energy
Wind turbines can be installed in your home and will produce energy efficiently, especially if you live in a windy area. But you must be wondering, aren’t wind turbines extremely huge and require a vast land area? No, smaller more convenient wind turbines are also available that can be easily installed in your home, either as a free-standing pole or installed on the building directly.
Using electricity only when in need
Quit leaving your lights and fans on in your room when you’re not present or working there. Try to wake up early and get work done before sunset so you can make the most out of the sunlight and will not require light bulbs for very long.
Using biomass heating systems
This system is based on burning organic materials, such as wood pellets, chips, or logs to provide heating and hot water and is a low carbon way of heating compared to fossil fuels like coal and oil that emit dangerous gases.
This renewable energy source makes use of water flowing downhill to generate electricity, so if your home is located anywhere near a lake or river, you can consider installing such a system for your use. There are many large-scale hydroelectric power plants that are being widely used but you can also get small-scale ones for your home.
Before we end this
Conclusively, it can be stated that this sustainable development goal 7 is playing a commendable part in working strategically for a long term plan and journey towards sustainable energy. The accomplishment of all of its set targets will no doubt bring about a global revolution and save the world from the plight of energy issues and shortage.
Understand UN’s Sustainable Development Goal here! Find out more about other sustainable development goals!
Or curious to know what Sustainable Development Goal 6 is about?
“Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.” UNDP, www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-7-affordable-and-clean-energy.html.
“Special Edition: Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.” United Nations, 8 May 2019.