An opening keynote by Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres United Nations Secretary General*
Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is critical in delivering not only SDG 7— but for all of the other SDG goals, as well. Energy services help to generate jobs, improve education, empower women, enable businesses to grow and create new markets. But as a global community, we are simply not moving fast enough to meet the challenge. Global energy scenarios show that even under the most ambitious scenarios, existing efforts do not allow us to reach the goals until 2040.
The 2017 updated to the Global Tracking Framework1 shows that some 1.06 billion people do not have access to electricity and 3.04 billion people do not have access to clean cooking. While the share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption climbed to 18.3% this is not growing fast enough to achieve doubling to 36% by 2030. Energy efficiency is the only area where progress accelerated significantly since 2012.
Finance flows need to increase with bolder policy commitments to meet SDG 7. Renewable energy investment needs to grow by a factor of 2-3 from $250 billion a year today and energy efficiency investment by a factor of 3-6 from a similar base. Investments in energy access are less well understood but estimates suggest that a five-fold increase to $45 billion annually would be needed to reach universal access by 2030.