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Tracking SDG 7

  • 03 Jun 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Energy Progress Report, Energy Efficiency, Clean Fuel, SDGs

For Mains: Findings of Energy Progress Report and Recommendations, Renewable Energy, SDGs

Why in News?

Recently, the Tracking SDG 7 – The Energy Progress Report 2022 was released which showed that the Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19 crisis have considerably slowed down efforts towards attaining the Seventh Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7) target.


  • The annual SDG 7 tracking report includes the official dashboard of global, regional and national progress on four key energy targets:
    • 7.1: Ensuring universal access to electricity and clean cooking solutions,
    • 7.2: Substantially increasing the share of renewable energy,
    • 7.3: Doubling progress on energy efficiency,
    • 7.A: Increasing international collaboration in support of clean and renewable energy.

What are the Findings?

  • Access to electricity (7.1):
    • The share of the world’s population with access to electricity rose from 83% in 2010 to 91% in 2020, increasing the number of people with access by 1.3 billion globally.
    • The number without access declined from 1.2 billion people in 2010 to 733 million in 2020.
    • However, the pace of progress in electrification has slowed in recent years which may be explained by the increasing complexity of reaching more remote and poorer unserved populations and the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
      • At current rates of progress, the world will reach only 92% electrification by 2030.
  • Clean cooking (7.1):
    • The share of the global population with access to clean cooking fuels and technologies rose to 69% in 2020, an increase of 3% points over last year 2021.
    • However, population growth outpaced much of the gains in access, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • As a result, the total number of people lacking access to clean cooking has remained relatively stagnant for decades. The increase was primarily driven by advancements in access to large, populous countries in Asia.
  • Renewables (7.2):
    • While the share of renewable capacity expansion rose by a record amount in 2021, the positive global and regional trajectories mask the fact that countries where new capacity additions lagged were those most in need of increased access.
    • Moreover, rising commodity, energy and shipping prices, as well as restrictive trade measures, have increased the cost of producing and transporting solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, wind turbines, and biofuels, adding uncertainty for future renewable energy projects.
  • Energy efficiency (7.3):
    • SDG 7.3 aims to double the global rate of annual improvement in primary energy intensity—the amount of energy used per unit of wealth created—to 2.6% in 2010–30 versus 1990–2010.
    • From 2010 to 2019, global annual improvements in energy intensity averaged around 1.9%, well below the target.
  • International Financial Flows (7.A):
    • International public financial flows to developing countries in support of clean energy decreased for the second year in a row, falling to USD 10.9 billion in 2019, despite the immense needs for sustainable development in most countries and growing urgency of climate change.
    • Overall, the level of financing remains below what is needed to reach SDG 7, particularly in the most vulnerable and least developed countries.

What are the Recommendations?

  • Access to Electricity: Meeting the 2030 target requires increasing the number of new connections to 100 million a year.
  • Clean Cooking: A multisectoral, coordinated effort is needed to achieve the SDG 7 target of universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
    • It is critical that the global community learns from the successes and challenges faced by countries that have attempted to design and implement clean household energy policies.
  • Renewables: Ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy implies accelerated deployment of renewable energy sources for electricity, heat, and transport.
    • Renewable shares need to reach well over 30% of ‘total final energy consumption’ by 2030, up from 18% in 2019, to be on track for reaching net-zero energy emissions by 2050.
  • Energy Efficiency: The rate of energy efficiency needs to be higher—consistently over 4% for the rest of this decade—if the world is to reach net-zero emissions from the energy sector by 2050.
  • International Financial Flows: Energy efficiency policies and investment need to be scaled up significantly to bring the SDG 7.3 target within reach.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions

Q. Consider the following statements: (2016)

  1. The Sustainable Development Goals were first proposed in 1972 by a global think tank called the ‘Club of Rome’.
  2. The Sustainable Development Goals have to be achieved by 2030.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)


  • The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, are a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
  • They are built upon the success of the Millennium Development Goals, including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities.
  • The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
  • Adopted in 2015, SDGs came into effect in January 2016. They are meant to be achieved by 2030. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • The SDGs were born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The Club of Rome advocated resource conservation for the first time in a more systematic way in 1968. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer

Source: DTE

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