‘International green goals won’t be met without accelerated ambition’

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says hitting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is essential for reducing poverty, improving health and ensuring environmental sustainability

By Jonny Bairstow

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to energy access, renewables and efficiency will not be met without accelerated ambition.

That’s the verdict from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which says hitting the targets is essential for reducing poverty, improving health and ensuring environmental sustainability.

However, it suggests global progress is falling short on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.

A new report from the organisation says there are still around one billion people without access to electricity and more people in sub-Saharan Africa without power than there were in 2000.

In addition, the IEA believes around 2.8 billion people still rely on polluting fuels to cook their daily meals, a number which has not changed since 2000.

It says without greater ambition, 2.3 billion will still remain without clean cooking access in 2030, leading to serious health, environmental and social consequences.

The report illustrates although the share of modern renewables in global final energy consumption has been growing steadily in past decades, reaching nearly 10% in 2015, this needs to more than double to 21% by 2030 and additional improvements in energy efficiency must be made.