In 2021, approximately 675 million people still lacked access to electricity, while a staggering 2.3 billion people relied on harmful cooking fuels and technologies.
That’s one of the key findings of a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency, the United Nations Statistics Division, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, which highlights the persistent global energy access gap.
The report, titled “Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report 2023,” emphasises the urgent need to address this disparity.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) aims to provide affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
However, the current pace of progress falls short of meeting the targets set forth in the SDGs, the IEA suggests.
While there has been some progress, such as increased adoption of renewable energy in the power sector, overall efforts are insufficient.
Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than 80% of the global population without electricity access, with 567 million people in the region lacking electricity in 2021, according to the report.
This represents a negligible improvement compared to the situation in 2010, analysts have said.
The report also sheds light on the health consequences of inadequate access to clean energy.
Household air pollution caused by the use of polluting fuels and technologies for cooking leads to approximately 3.2 million premature deaths each year,