Securing the Future for our Future...!
Many countries in Asia and Pacific are still struggling to get access to Affordable, Sustainable, Reliable and Modern Energy which is a basic to reduce poverty and ensure development. This is becoming not only an economical or environmental challenge but also a social challenge. To support basic needs like food, health, sanitation, education, etc. affordable and clean energy sources are required. The Sustainable Development Goals have set a global target for energy development which will have socio-economic benefits. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific is an organization which helps the member countries in defining sustainable development Priorities. They also help their members to contribute towards implementation of Sustainable Energy for All and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 7.
An estimate of 1 billion people has done have access to electricity, neither dirty nor clean. People with no access to electricity had two options, either use of biomass, especially coal or generators, of which both of them led to creating pollution. The campaign “Advanced Energy for Life” was designed to deflect attention from coal as the single largest climate pollutant to the issue of energy poverty.
Sustainable Development Goal 7(SDG7)
The SDG7 aims to ensure access to affordable, sustainable, reliable and modern energy for all. Its target is to ensure universal access to the above stated energy service and increase the share of sustainable energy in the world energy mix. It also aims to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by the year 2030.
The Global Tracking Framework 2017 reviewed the key drivers and major challenges behind achieving energy access, efficiency, and renewable energy objectives.
There are 17 goals set for the sustainable development. Few Development goals are listed below;
1.End Poverty in all its forms: The all India Poverty Head Count Ratio (PHCR) has been brought down from 47% in 1990 to 21% in 2011-2012, nearly halved.
2.Zero Hunger: Asia is the continent with the hungriest people – two-thirds of the total. The percentage in southern Asia has fallen in recent years, but in western Asia it has increased slightly.
3.Good Health and Well Being: Despite global progress, an increasing proportion of child deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Four out of every five deaths of children are under age five occur in these regions.
4.Quality Education: India has made significant progress in universalizing primary education. Enrolment and completion rates of girls in primary school have improved as are elementary completion rates. The net enrolment ratio in primary education (for both sexes) is 88%(2013-14). At the national level, male and female youth literacy rate is 94% and 92%.
5.Gender Equality: In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30% of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber. India is on track to achieve gender parity at all education levels, having already achieved it at the primary level. The ratio of female literacy to male literacy for 15-24year olds is 0.91.
6.Clean water and sanitation: In 2012, 59% households in rural areas and 8% in urban India did not have access to improved sanitation facilities. Almost 600 million people in India defecate in the open, the highest number in the world.
7.Affordable and Clean Energy: Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
8.Sustainable Cities and Communities: By 2030, India is expected to be home to 6 mega-cities with populations above 10 million. Currently 17% of India’s urban population lives in slums.
9.Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: The number of refugees of concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stood at 13 million in mid-2014, up from a year earlier. The rate of children leaving primary school in conflict-affected countries reached 50% in 2011, which amounts to 28.5 million children. In India, more than 20% of all pupils and one-third of all Scheduled Tribe students drop out before finishing primary education.
Major components of energy transitions are enhanced energy efficiency, increased renewable energy in energy mix and better connectivity of energy across regions. The pace of energy sector needs to change in several countries as they are running on a very slow pace.
It is not only essential to reach the SDG7 target, many SDGs can benefit from the spill over effects of affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Fulfilling the commitments made in the Paris Agreement requires rapid energy transition in the regions of Asia and Pacific. Energy transition can reduce energy poverty which can have a wide range of social benefits and lead to a drastic reduction in environmental hazards.
Electricity is required for basic household and other office functions. It not only supports education and well-being but also daily livelihood. Electricity is engaged in productive activities like public lighting which increases safety of public at night especially for women.
Increasing the use of renewable energy, not only environmental and economic, but social benefits as well. The Asia-Pacific region has emerged as the global leader in Renewable energy by large installations of renewables like solar and wind power, across the region. The countries also pledged under the Paris Agreement that they will reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel. According to the 2014 reports, the Asia-Pacific region was responsible 55.2% emission from fuel combustion. Out of the 55.2%, 66% was solely due to coal.
Energy efficiency facilitates economic productivity as well as socio-environmental benefits. These benefits include increased energy affordability, improved air quality, reduced pollution and global climate change mitigation. Energy Intensity is used to scan the advancement in attaining the goals set out by SEforAll Initiative SDG7. Energy Intensity is measured in units of energy in per Dollar of GDP. In it, the high numbers indicate more energy consumption per dollar of economic output and declines in energy intensity are a proxy for efficiency improvements.
By Shivani Khazanchi
Posted By - Assistant Editor