In 2015, the United Nations developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all” (un.org). Number seven on the list is “Affordable and Clean Energy”, a goal that aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.
As a planet, we face many challenges, most of which are connected to energy in one way or another. Access to energy is essential for jobs, food production, and security, to name a few.
This motivation behind this goal is sustainable energy; “sustainable energy is an opportunity—it transforms lives, economies and the planet”.
Limited access to energy systems impedes the development of key systems, including economic development, which is especially crucial in developing countries.
In areas without electricity, “women and girls have to spend hours fetching water, clinics cannot store vaccines for children, many school children cannot do homework at night, and people cannot run competitive businesses” (un.org).
Out of necessity for heat and the ability to cook, non-electricity sources such as coal, animal waste, charcoal, and wood, are used. These sources result in indoor air pollution which ultimately leads to death.
Harmful greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change which impacts not only the countries producing the GHGs; the impact is on a global scale harming the well-being of people and the environment.
There are many opportunities to fix these issues. There are a variety of steps that can be taken by individuals, companies, and countries. The bottom line is that it is our responsibility as a human race to be aware of the impacts our actions, and do what we can to positively impact our planet and its future.
Learn more about Affordable and Clean Energy: Why It Matters.
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