Sustainable Development Goal 7
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
The International Energy Agency is at the forefront of global efforts to assess and analyse persistent energy access deficit, providing annual country-by-country data on access to electricity and clean cooking (SDG 7.1) and the main data source for tracking official progress towards SDG targets on renewables (SDG 7.2) and energy efficiency (SDG 7.3).
The adoption of the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 marked a new level of political recognition of the importance of energy to development. For the first time, this included a target to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – collectively known as Sustainable Development Goal 7, or SDG 7.
In support of these efforts, the IEA developed the Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) in World Energy Outlook 2017. The SDS combines ambitious climate policy (SDG 13) with significant action on achieving energy access (SDG 7.1) and creating cleaner air (SDG 3) – an integrated approach that speaks to energy policy priorities in a very wide range of countries. The IEA is also the lead custodian agency for SDG 7.2 on renewable energy and 7.3 on energy efficiency in addition to being custodian of SDG target 12.c, which aims to rationalise inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.
Read on to explore the IEA's latest data and analysis on targets under Sustainable Developement Goals 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3.
Access to electricity
In 2017 the number of people without electricity access fell below 1 billion, a fall of 97 million compared to 2016. However, progress continues to be uneven, with three-quarters of the 570 million people who gained access since 2011 concentrated in Asia.
Access to clean cooking
Nearly 2.7 billion people do not have access to clean cooking facilities, relying instead on biomass, coal or kerosene as their primary cooking fuel. However, this year marks a turning point, with data showing a gradual decline in the global number of people without clean cooking access.
In 2017, the share of modern renewables reached over 10% of total final energy consumption, having steadily increased since the 2000s. Nonetheless, faster progress is needed to realise a substantial increase in the share of renewable energy, as set out in SDG target 7.2.
Thanks to an increase in the scope of public policies, recent progress in energy intensity has been promising. Yet, this is not sufficient to put the world on track for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 7.3 target.