Saturday, May 05, 2018

World Is Not on Track to Meet UN’s 2030 Sustainable Energy Goals

As renewable energy costs fall, poor countries are making progress, but billions of people are still left with polluting fuels for cooking and transportation.

Renewable energy systems, like this portable solar kit purchased by a herder in Mongolia, are spreading, but not fast enough to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a new report shows. (Credit: Stephan Bachenheimer/World Bank) Click to Enlarge.
The world's poorest countries are making progress toward the United Nations' sustainable energy goals, but not as quickly as development agencies had hoped, according to a new report from the UN, the World Health Organization and three other international agencies.

Of the 1 billion people who lack access to electricity, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, only about a third will get it by 2030, they found, and more than 2 billion will still be cooking with unhealthy, polluting fuels.

The report, Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report, was released Wednesday at a two-day forum on sustainable energy in Lisbon.
The energy goals include universal access to electricity, universal access to clean cooking fuels, and increases in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Progress has been especially slow in shifting toward sustainable, modern cooking sources and away from dirty cooking fuels, such as charcoal, wood, and dung.  About 3 billion people, or 40 percent of the world's population, have no alternatives, and the pollution from their stoves and ovens kills an estimated 4 million people a year.

The report projected that 2.3 billion people will still use these fuels in 2030.
Seeking Solutions at the Bonn Climate Talks
The release of the report comes as climate talks continue in Bonn, Germany, where negotiators are assessing the progress of countries' commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement.

It cites a number of policy solutions, including phasing out fossil fuel subsidies to drive shifts toward renewables.   In Bonn this week, Sweden, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Finland, and New Zealand are calling for those phase-outs.

Read more at World Is Not on Track to Meet UN’s 2030 Sustainable Energy Goals

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