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World Makes Great Progress On Energy Access, Says UN

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Remarkable progress has been made in broadening electricity access globally, however sustained political will and increased public and private finance are urgently needed to provide affordable and clean energy to the 1.2 billion people without access to electricity by 2030, says United Nations.
According to the latest data, 85 per cent of the global population has access to basic electricity services, up from 73 per cent in 1990. This has been achieved largely through governments’ efforts in extending national grids, as well as off-grid decentralised solutions.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set out 17 Goals and 169 targets, which jointly constitute a comprehensive plan of action to eradicate poverty and ensure sustainable development. Recognising the importance of energy for development, Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) has been established as the first-ever universal goal on energy, and includes targets for access, renewable and energy efficiency.
Gaps and trends were identified towards achieving SDG7 on energy.
UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar underlined that while great progress has been made in improving access, with 90% of the region’s population now connected, continued commitment is needed as Asia-Pacific remains the most energy intensive region in the world.
“The Asia-Pacific region is leading the global move to renewable energy, and deployment of renewable energy technology continues to increase at unprecedented rates,” she said. “Remarkably, in 2016, Asia-Pacific countries, led by China and India, commissioned over 94 gigawatts of renewable generation, 59 per cent of the global total. But despite the ascendancy of renewables, the entrenched role of fossil fuels will take some time to shift.”
Zhenmin UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs stressed that at the heart of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, lies the issue of energy. Achieving SDG7 on energy can unlock vast potential for economic growth in all regions and for all people, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We must promote synergies between SDGs and climate change to advance win-win solutions,” said Mr. Liu.
It is important for the private sector towards building a more secure and sustainable energy future. This can be done with the support of the government. Technology and innovation are important for the achievements of the SDGs.