Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is integral to the development and long-term improvement of the quality of life for all.

The UN’s 7th Sustainable Development Goal aims to ensure the development and implementation of accessible and sustainable energy infrastructures for all by the year 2030. Reliable and affordable electricity is critical to humanitarian aid and development in all forms. Electricity plays a critical role in the function of almost every aspect of our world, from allowing children to do their homework at night to allowing critical vaccines to be stored properly in remote medical facilities. Well established energy infrastructures support and uplift entire communities, allowing business, education, agriculture, healthcare and all other manner of critical sectors to flourish and thrive. Since the beginning of the 21st century widespread access to electricity has increased in leaps and bounds with 1.26 billion people gaining access to electricity for the first time between 2005 and 2016*. Notwithstanding the incredible progress the world has seen in achieving such prolific accessibility to electricity, there still remains 789 million people, amounting to 10% of the global population, who still completely lack access to reliable electricity in any form.

Although the broader issue of energy accessibility seems to be well on track to being resolved within the next decade, developing a solution that is both reliable and achieved through clean energy sources is a far greater task. Despite the strides taken in achieving accessible energy for all, vast improvements are still needed to give 3 billion people the opportunity to use clean and safe cooking fuels and technologies. With that knowledge, the United Nations has highlighted a critical need for international cooperation to further facilitate the improvement of clean energy research and technologies as well as an expansion of the infrastructures that supplying modern energy services for all in developing nations***.

How businesses can assist with SDG 7:

Investing in renewable energy is the most influential step a business can take to create a real, long lasting impact on developing nations’ access to energy. Most developing countries have an abundance of resources for renewables including solar, geothermal, wind and biomass. Investments into renewable energy won’t only improve the access to energy but also has many positive ripple effects such increasing employment opportunities and tackling climate change.

*https://ourworldindata.org/energy-access#:~:text=1.26%20billion%20got%20access%20to,first%20time%20in%20their%20lives

**https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/7_Why-It-Matters-2020.pdf

***https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030-goal7.html

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