The world continues to advance towards sustainable energy targets, although efforts are not of the scale required to achieve Goal 7 by 2030. Some progress has been made in improving energy efficiency and expanding access to electricity. However, millions of people across the globe still lack this basic service, and progress on clean cooking fuels and technologies has stagnated, affecting the health of billions of women and children in particular.
The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the urgent need for affordable and reliable energy – for hospital and health facilities to treat patients, for communities to pump clean water and access vital information, and for out-of-school children to learn remotely. At the same time, the crisis is certain to stymie efforts towards Goal 7. Disruptions in supply chains could wreak havoc on energy services, and reduced incomes could limit people’s ability to pay for them. In addition, plummeting oil prices are likely to discourage growth in renewable energy.