UN Global Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Solutions Journalism Network

Ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern sources of energy is crucial to achieving almost all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Increasing the global share of clean energy will create jobs, lift incomes, improve environmental health, and improve resilience to climate change. By 2030, the UN’s targets aim to:

  • Raise the proportion of the global population with access to electricity and clean energy as their primary source.
  • Promote investment and international cooperation to create and upgrade infrastructure for sustainable, renewable energy.
  • Increase the global share of renewable energy and double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

While the share of renewable energy in the global economy is rising, it is rising too slowly to meet the UN’s target of doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency in the global economy by 2030. Furthermore, global CO2 emissions have risen about 40 percent over the last generation. Despite a stabilization in levels of emissions during in 2014 and 2015, today, emission levels are again on the rise.  

The stories in this collection illustrate how change makers are leveraging technological advances to allow for new types of energy networks—and more resilient communities. Paul Hockenos explains that over the last 5 years, over 120,00 German homes and small businesses have invested in solar batteries thanks to advances in lithium battery technology. Meanwhile, in India, a solar energy company allows neighbors to sell their surplus energy through a microgrid.

We also see where new partnerships and novel approaches are working to bring long-lasting, sustainable change. Learn about efforts by the World Bank and the Ugandan government to encourage cleaner cooking methods. With some 3 billion people still relying on fuels like coal to cook and heat their homes, cleaner cooking methods are crucial to achieving Goal 7. 

Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on affordable and clean energy.

Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on affordable and clean energy.

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