How to Achieve Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Not all energy standards in all countries around the world are the same as the U.S. so it is important to note the different perspectives there are with regard to access to renewable energy. Many developed countries have renewable energy goals in place such as Germany and China but their goals are vastly different than the goals of developing countries such as countries in Africa, whose goals include access to any sort of energy, let alone renewable.  For example, as explained in the UN Environmental Guide for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Laws, Ghana’s electricity supply capacity could not keep up with Ghana’s strong economic growth and increased electricity demand in the 1980s and 1990s. Ghana suffered blackouts which negatively affected the country’s economy so since then Ghana implemented the first standards and labelling to help solve the crisis in 2000 and their goal is to use energy more efficiently in a limited sense and renewable energy is not mentioned in the standards.  But in China’s case, the country has already surpassed its 2020 solar panel target and is accounting for over 40 percent of the total global clean energy mix by 2022, according to author Rob Smith’s 2018 World Economic Forum study. The global perspective of Goal 7 is different based on different countries’ economic status and geographic location but mostly all countries are conscious and aware of the need to become more energy efficient and to reduce energy consumption overall.

As studied in Project 2: Population Growth, Ecological Footprints and Biocapacity, there is a difference between attempting to decrease energy consumption in a country per capita and decreasing the total energy consumption.  The per capita energy consumption is the total energy consumption divided by the population. Globally, the population is increasing at a faster rate than the total energy consumption of the world so there is a decline in the per capita energy consumption.  This will result in an overshoot which is when humanity’s demand for energy exceeds the supply of energy sources. However through global initiatives the global community is trying to reverse this overshoot. Some of the global energy initiatives include: the International Energy Agency, which includes 29 countries whose motto is “Secure, Sustainable, Together”; the UN; the Global Energy Initiative whose motto is “Towards a Low-Carbon Century”; and many more.  In the New York State alone there is a goal to reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 so there is an obvious movement to become more energy efficient and to encourage renewable energy usage to achieve Goal 7 and with the support of all governments, businesses, civil society and the general public the Goal 7 will be achieved.

4 thoughts on “How to Achieve Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

  1. What I took away most from your post is the fact that different countries have different needs and approaches to energy usage and perspective on the topic of global warming. I think this is so important because I think often times people forget about those outside of their own country/home, so thinking about how others live and how this differs can be very important for our own perspective on the topic of energy.

  2. It is a difficult balancing act for countries to keep up with their energy needs, while also adhering to principles of sustainability. One country cannot carry the load itself for climate action, and its important that most states realize that combating climate change is a worldwide effort. I liked your point about Ghana’s insufficient energy levels which led to a crisis. With the conversation surrounding countries using too much energy, I think people often forget that many developing countries still don’t have adequate resources to power their nations.

  3. From the information you presented, it seems as though Ghana made an influential and impactful change from the chaos in 1990’s. The word “blackout” resonates complete and utter disaster to me. While there are many countries that have energy, it’s important to remember that while we’re trying to sustain our earth from North America, some countries don’t even have enough energy to power their own home country.

  4. You do an excellent job of highlighting different countries and their different energy usages. For developing nations such as those found in Africa, I find it most interesting that issues of sustainable power and environmentally friendly renewable are lost in the notion that garnering any sort of power is a necessity. This leads me to believe, that Africa will be arriving to the sustainability talks a few decades after the rest of Europe and North Africa but once they do, it will represent a tremendous step African nations will have taken towards advancing to a 2nd and 1st world status.

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