Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy
The seventh Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)

Affordable & Clean Energy

Aims to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy”.

Let's learn a little more about SDG 7.

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  • Overview
  • Facts & Figures
  • Targets

Why Is It Important To Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy?

Since access to clean energy is a necessity of modern-day life, scaling up of renewable energy, such as solar, wind and thermal energy should be at the heart of combatting the looming climate crisis and for achieving the targets under SDG 7.

For many decades, fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas have been major sources of electricity production, but burning carbon fuels 789 million people around the world lack access to electricity produces large amounts of greenhouse gases which cause climate change and have harmful impacts on people’s well-being and the environment. This affects everyone, not just a few. 

Moreover, global electricity use is rising rapidly. In a nutshell, without a stable electricity supply, countries will not be able to power their economies.

A well-established energy system supports every sector, starting from business, medicine, education to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high-technology. Energy services are also key to preventing disease and fighting pandemics such as COVID-19, because they power healthcare facilities, supply clean water for essential hygiene, enable communications and IT services that connect people, while maintaining physical distance.


Without electricity, women and girls have to spend hours fetching water, clinics cannot store vaccin...

Without electricity, women and girls have to spend hours fetching water, clinics cannot store vaccines for children, many schoolchildren cannot do homework at night, and people cannot run competitive businesses. Slow progress towards clean cooking solutions is of grave global concern, affecting both human health and the environment, and if we don’t meet our goal by 2030, nearly a third of the world’s population – mostly women and children – will continue to be exposed to harmful household air pollution.

President Ikeda has continued to highlight the need for renewable energy and energy conservation to reduce our environmental footprint in his various writings, while envisioning a ‘new energy future’. 

Expanding on the goal of sustainable energy for all, President Ikeda calls out the need for humanitarian competition, defined as actions that "benefit and serve the interests of others while profiting oneself" and "benefit and serve the interests of the future while profiting the present" in his 2012 Environment Proposal. In the context of countries collaborating on technological innovation to introduce renewable energy sources and also helping introduce them in developing countries struggling with this issue, he says: “If states with records of achievement in this field could engage in positive competition to contribute to the diffusion of these technologies, it would help establish the infrastructure by which societies struggling with poverty can protect the lives, livelihoods and dignity of their people without increasing the burden on the environment. This would in turn greatly reduce the demands placed on the global ecosphere going into the future.”


What Progress Has Been Made So Far In Terms of Ensuring Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy?

  • More people around the world now have access to electricity than before. The proportion rose from 83% in 2010 to 87% in 2015, then rising to 89% in 2017.
  • Primary energy intensity i.e. total energy supply per unit of GDP, saw an improvement by 2.5% in 2016. This brought the annual rate of improvement between 2010 and 2016 to 2.3%, compared to 1.3% between 1990 and 2010. The global SDG target is 2.7%.

How Can I As An Individual Apply Sustainable Human Behaviour To Achieve These Targets For SDG 7 To Help Achieve The Goal Of Affordable & Clean Energy?

  • Educate oneself on usage of renewable and clean energy.
  • Invest in renewable energy resources, such as: solar energy.
  • You can start using energy efficient bulbs and appliances. 
  • Adopt clean energy technologies and infrastructure.
  • If you run a business, you can commit to sourcing 100% of operational electricity needs from renewable sources. 
  • If you are an employer, you can reduce the internal demand for transport by prioritizing telecommunications and incentivizing less energy intensive modes such as train travel over auto and air travel.
  • If you have the funds to invest, you can choose to invest more in sustainable energy services, bringing new technologies to the market quickly from a diverse supplier base.
  • You can save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer
  • You can bike, walk or take public transport to reduce carbon emissions.

Did You Know These Facts About SDG 7 – Affordable & Clean Energy?

  • 13

    13 percent of the global population still lacks access to modern electricity.

  • 3 Billion

    3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating.

  • 60%

    Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 4.3 Million

    Indoor air pollution from using combustible fuels for household energy caused 4.3 million deaths in 2012, with women and girls accounting for 6 out of every 10 of these.

  • 1/3rd

    One-third of the world’s population (2.6 billion people) use dangerous and inefficient cooking systems (2019).

  • 17.5%

    In 2016, the share of renewables increased at the fastest rate since 2012, up 0.24 percentage points, and reached almost 17.5 percent owing to rapid growth in hydropower, wind, and solar.

Targets For SDG 7 – Affordable & Clean Energy Set By The United Nations

  • By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.

    Target 7.1
  • By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

    Target 7.2
  • By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

    Target 7.3
  • By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.

    Target 7.A
  • By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support.

    Target 7.B

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