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Towards Energy Transition & Sustainable Development

Our daily activities are dependent on reliable and affordable sources of energy . And yet the consumption of energy remains the leading driver of climate change, responsible for approximately 60 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a recent report 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), the world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 for energy by 2030.

The 2023 edition of Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report  highlights that although significant progress has been made on specific elements of the SDG 7 agenda (for example, the increased rate of using renewables in the power sector), this progress is insufficient to reach the targets set forth in the SDGs.

Reports from the United Nations emphasize the pressing need to triple renewable capacity by 2030; stressing that if the current pace is maintained, about 660 million people will still lack access to electricity and close to 2 billion people will still rely on polluting fuels and technologies for cooking by 2030.

Ensuring universal access to affordable electricity by 2030 means investing in clean energy sources such as solar, wind and thermal, accelerating electrification, improving energy efficiency and developing enabling policies and regulatory frameworks. Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean energy in all developing countries is a crucial goal that can both encourage growth and help the environment.

How can we accelerate this journey ?

The United Nations highlights the roles everyone has to play in accelerating the journey towards energy transition and sustainable development ;

  • Countries should invest in renewable energy resources, prioritize energy efficient practices, and adopt clean energy technologies and infrastructure.
  • Businesses can play a part by sourcing all operational electricity needs from renewable sources 
  • Employers should decrease the need for internal transportation by giving priority to telecommunications and offering incentives for less energy-intensive modes like train travel instead of automobile and air travel.
  • Individuals can save electricity by; using power strips for appliances and turning them off entirely when not in use; opting for biking, walking, or public transport to cut down on carbon emissions.

Looking Ahead

Taking a glance into the not so distant future, it is evident:  to confront the challenges of climate change, bolster energy security and guarantee sustainable development for all, we must triple renewable capacity by 2030. The development of renewable energies is a prerequisite for moving the energy transition forward.

 In essence, the journey towards energy transition presents a landscape defined by progress, obstacles, and opportunities. By leveraging renewable energy sources, investing in cleaner technologies, and fostering collaboration, we can accelerate the transition towards a sustainable energy future for generations to come.

Sources: Energy- United Nations Sustainable Development 

                   International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) – Newsletter

                   Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023

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