Energy is crucial for achieving almost all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, from its role in the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialization, to combating climate change.
The proportion of the global population with access to electricity has increased steadily, from 79 per cent in 2000 to 87 per cent in 2016. Still, nearly 1 billion are without this valuable service. Recent global progress in this area has been driven largely by Asia, where access is expanding at more than twice the pace of demographic growth. Of those gaining access to electricity worldwide since 2010, 80 per cent are urban dwellers.
The proportion of the world’s population with access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking increased from 51 per cent in 2000 to 59 per cent in 2016, although there has been limited progress since 2010. The absolute number of people relying on polluting fuels and technologies for cooking, such as solid fuels and kerosene, however, has actually increased, reaching an estimated three billion people. Limited progress since 2010 falls substantially short of global population growth and is almost exclusively confined to urban areas.