How business leadership can advance Goal 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy
The world falls significantly short of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and meeting the targets it has agreed for clean energy penetration and energy efficiency. More than 1 billion people (15 per cent of the global population), mainly in rural communities, lack access to electricity. More than 40 per cent of the global population currently lacks access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking. The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption remains at around 18 per cent, and, despite recent advances in solar and wind power, much of this is through hydroelectric power. There are particularly acute challenges to increasing the share of renewable energy in the heat and transport sectors, which together account for 80 per cent of global energy consumption. Despite improvements, many of the world’s largest energy consuming countries are not increasing their rates of energy efficiency at the speed that the global community has agreed is necessary.
Businesses have an essential part to play in driving the financing and development of technologies needed to achieve Goal 7. The private sector accounts for half of the world’s energy consumption, so it has significant scope to increase energy efficiency and source energy from renewable sources. Businesses supply energy and energy-consuming products and services to consumers, which they can make clean and efficient in use. They can also make these affordable to enhance access for underserved populations.