SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh

Targets

  • 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 cooperation 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 programmes of support.
SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy

Affordable, clean energy fuels sustainable development, such as by providing the light that allows a child to do her homework or the power that a woman uses to run sewing machines for her business. Worldwide, 1.1 billion people still have no electricity. Three billion burn solid fuels such as wood and animal dung for cooking and heating, filling their homes with dangerous pollutants.

Over 4 million people died prematurely from indoor air pollution caused by cooking with solid fuels in 2012. 60% of those who died were women and girls.

In spending more time around the home, women and girls accounted for 6 out of 10 of the 4.3 million premature deaths caused in 2012 by indoor air pollution.

The lack of modern energy sources has other consequences for women and girls, who are often the primary household energy managers. They may spend hours each day collecting fuel and carrying heavy loads. In households that cook with solid fuels, girls spend 18 hours a week, on average, gathering fuel. Women are largely sidelined in the industries that produce modern sources of renewable energy, however, comprising only 20 per cent of the workforce.[1]

Some indications suggest that women are more likely than men to conserve energy—using up to 22 per cent less, including through a greater willingness to alter everyday behaviours.[2]

UN Women acts to extend energy access through gender-inclusive energy planning and policies, promoting women’s entrepreneurship for sustainable energy, and improving women’s skills and access to financial resources. Since 2011, UN Women has co-sponsored the Gender Equality Award granted by the SEED Initiative, a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy.

Stories

Suhela Khan. Photo: UN Women/Jeevan Kanakkassery

Take Five: “The opportunity for sustainable energy entrepreneurship is significant for women”
Suhela Khan currently leads UN Women’s joint programme with UNEP, called "Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy Programme" in India, talks about how women’s access to clean energy and entrepreneurship can be improved in India, which is in the midst of a profound transformation in the energy sector. >


Eisha Mohammed, 41, is a solar engineer working and living in Mjimwema, a remote village in southern Tanzania. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Raison

From where I stand: Eisha Mohammed
Eisha Mohammed, a solar engineer in Mjimwema, a remote village in Tanzania, installs and repairs solar equipment, bringing electricity to many homes in her village. She spent six months training to be a solar engineer at the Barefoot College in India, supported by UN Women and the Government of India.


26 women from 16 villages in Liberia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda were selected to participate in six months of training on building, installing and maintaining solar lamps and panels. Photo: Thomas Dworzak/Magnum Photos for UN Women

Photo essay: Rural women light villages in Liberia
In post-civil war Liberia, less than 10 per cent of the population has access to electricity. Rural Liberian women, trained as solar engineers at the Barefoot College in India with support from UN Women, are pioneering efforts to provide affordable and clean energy by installing and managing solar lamps in their communities.


Kimiyaa Umar showing her energy-saving cooking stove that her group assembles and sells. Photo: UN Women/Fikerte Abebe

Loans and energy-saving technology transform lives in rural Ethiopia
A joint programme in Ethiopia brings together six UN Agencies to help women save and invest in energy-saving cooking stove technology cooperatives. Kimiya Umar, a 35-year-old mother of six, is one of 19,500 beneficiaries who has received entrepreneurship training, and these women also sell these stoves to other villages, benefitting more women.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) SDG 15: Life on land SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions SDG 14: Life below water SDG 13: Climate action SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities SDG 10: Reduced inequalities SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation SDG 5: Gender equality SDG 4: Quality education SDG 3: Good health and well-being SDG 2: Zero hunger SDG 1: No poverty Women and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Featured publication

Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UN Women’s new flagship report provides a comprehensive and authoritative assessment of progress, gaps and challenges in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from a gender perspective. The report monitors global and regional trends in achieving the SDGs for women and girls based on available data, and provides practical guidance for the implementation of gender-responsive policies and accountability processes.

Video
Featured video
Moringa women: using solar energy to grow women’s incomes in rural Guinea

Through a grant from UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, a civil society organization has helped rural women form several cooperatives and taught its members how to plant a vitamin-rich tree called Moringa and how to clean, dry and sell its leaves with the help of solar technology.

Flagship programmes
Women's sustainable energy entrepreneurship and access
Planet 50–50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality