SDG Goal 7 aims to ensure access to affordable reliable and sustainable and modern energy for all. Access to energy is a principle pillar for the well-being of people as well as economic development and poverty alleviation.
Where global access to electricity has been steadily rising in recent decades, there is still an alarming 770 million people who live without access to electricity, mostly in Africa and Asia. The Covid-19 crisis put an end to several years of continued progress and worsened the already low energy purchasing power of households in developing countries.
More than 40% of the world’s people still rely on polluting and unhealthy fuels for cooking. Although renewable electricity growth is accelerating faster than ever worldwide, supporting the emergence of the new global energy economy, the question is- Is the change happening fast enough?
According to United Nations, the Targets for Goal 7 are:
By 2030 ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.
By 2030 increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
By 2030 double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
By 2030 enhance international co-operation 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.
By 2030 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, in accordance with their respective programes of support.
Canada has one of the world's largest per-capita consumers of energy due to the country's extreme temperatures, vast landscape and dispersed population. The Canadian government is focusing on 3 key pathways to decarbonize how we use energy: Efficiency, Electrification, and Clean Fuels.
Energy efficiency has an important role in meeting Canada's emissions reduction targets, while also helping individual Canadians and businesses save money on energy costs, improving competitiveness, and creating jobs. Electrification provides a foundation for decarbonization strategies such as electrifying transportation, heating and cooling of buildings, and certain industrial applications. It also reinforces digitization, smart technology, and the internet of things, all of which play a critical role in managing energy and increasing demand. Clean fuels produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional fuels. These fuels can be used to power our transportation and industrial sectors, supporting Canada's energy sector transition to a net-zero economy.
According to the official website of the Government of Canada, Mandate letters released in December 2021 outline the Government of Canada's direction and policy priorities. Selected commitments related to Sustainable Development Goal 7 are listed below.
Work on the development of model building codes, including publishing a net-zero emissions building code and model retrofit code by the end of 2024 that align with national climate objectives and provide a standard for climate-resilient buildings (Minister of Natural Resources; Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry).
Expand the eligibility requirements of the deep home retrofit loan program to include more climate resilience measures, while also ensuring the program remains accessible to both individual homeowners and multi-unit residential buildings (Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion).
In support of Canada's efforts to achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035, advance near-term consultations with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities and interested parties to develop and implement strategies to decarbonize electricity systems (Minister of Natural Resources; with support from the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities).
Provide grants of up to $5,000 for home retrofits through the Canada Greener Homes Grants Program and creating a Climate Adaptation Home Rating Program as a companion to the EnerGuide home energy audits (Minister of Natural Resources).
Advance the Atlantic Loop initiative to connect surplus clean power to regions transitioning away from coal and to help transform how we power our economy and communities.
What Can Your Business Do?
Set Science Based Emission Reduction targets: The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) provides companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Science Based Targets initiative provides guidance documents, webinars and other resources such as science-based target setting tools. To learn more about how to set a science-based target, visit sciencebasedtargets.org.
Put a price on Carbon: Putting a price on carbon can encourage low-carbon growth and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Engage Responsibly in Climate Policy: More and more businesses are seeing opportunity in the zero-carbon economy and taking action on climate change.
Reach out to us at email@example.com to know how FCCCO can help you adopt best practices for Affordable and Clean Energy and help sustainability take roots at the core of your operations.