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Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2023

  • 08 Jun 2023
  • 8 min read

Why in News?

A recent report, titled "Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2023," was released through collaboration between the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency, United Nations Statistics Division, World Bank, and the WHO.

  • The report highlights various challenges that hinder progress towards achieving United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7).

What are the Major Highlights of the Report?

  • Factors Hindering Achievement of SDG-7:
    • Factors such as high inflation, uncertain macroeconomic outlook, debt distress, and limited financial flows have contributed to the world falling off-track in achieving SDG 7.
    • The report identifies several major economic factors that hinder the realisation of SDG 7 worldwide:
      • Uncertain macroeconomic outlook and high levels of inflation
      • Currency fluctuations and debt distress in many countries
      • Lack of financing and supply chain bottlenecks
      • Tighter fiscal circumstances and soaring prices for materials
  • Progress Towards Specific Targets:
    • Access to Electricity and Clean Cooking: Global access to electricity increased from 84% to 91% between 2010 and 2021, but annual growth has slowed.
      • The number of people without electricity decreased from 1.1 billion in 2010 to 675 million in 2021.
      • The goal of universal access to electricity by 2030 remains elusive.
    • Access to Clean Cooking: It improved from 2.9 billion people in 2010 to 2.3 billion in 2021, but 1.9 billion people may still lack access by 2030.
      • The report indicates that approximately 100 million people who recently transitioned to clean cooking may revert to traditional biomass usage.
      • Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to have the highest number of people without access to clean cooking in 2030 (6 out of 10 people).
    • Renewable Energy (Target 7.2): Renewable energy uptake has grown since 2010 but needs substantial scaling up.
      • The share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption remains low at 19.1% (or 12.5% excluding traditional biomass).
      • Meeting international climate and energy goals requires substantial investments of USD 1.4-1.7 trillion annually in renewable electricity generation and related infrastructure through 2030.
    • Energy Efficiency (Target 7.3): The current rate of improvement in energy efficiency is not on track to double by 2030.
      • The average annual growth of 1.8% falls short of the targeted increase of 2.6% per year between 2010 and 2030.
    • International Public Financial Flows (Target 7.a): Financial flows supporting clean energy in developing countries have declined since 2020.
      • Financial resources are more than a third lower than the average of the previous decade (2010-2019).
      • The decreasing trend in financial flows is concentrated in a small number of countries, posing challenges for achieving SDG 7, particularly for least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states.

What is Sustainable Development Goal 7?

  • About:
    • In 2015, all United Nations Member States came together to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aiming to create a harmonious and prosperous future for both humanity and the planet.
    • Central to this agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which serve as a pressing call for action to be embraced by all nations, regardless of their development status.
  • Background of SDGs:
    • In June 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, more than 178 countries adopted Agenda 21, a comprehensive plan of action to build a global partnership for sustainable development to improve human lives and protect the environment.
    • Member States unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration at the Millennium Summit in September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York.
    • 2015 was a landmark year for multilateralism and international policy shaping, with the adoption of several major agreements:
  • Current Status:
    • Now, the annual High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development serves as the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the SDGs.
    • The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) provides substantive support and capacity-building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues.
  • SDG 7:
    • Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) calls for “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030. It’s three core targets are the foundation for our work: By 2030:
      • Target 7.1: ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
      • Target 7.2: increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
      • Target 7.3: double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
      • Target 7.a: enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
      • Target 7.b: expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


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)


Q. Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. (2018)

Q. National Education Policy 2020 isin conformity with the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (2030). It intends to restructure and reorient education system in India. Critically examine the statement. (2020)

Source: DTE

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