The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, put it best when he said, “Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability. With access to energy, people can study, go to university, get a job, start a business, and reach their full potential.”

There is no argument that access to affordable energy should be universally available. Now, it's the question of how to make sure the energy generated is "clean." Electricity access worldwide has increased from 83% in 2010 to 90% in 2019, but it is important to dually provide affordable and clean energy for sustainable development. Providing affordable and clean energy access to everyone would help combat climate change and decrease the exposure to high levels of air pollution from relying on polluting fuels for cooking, transportation, and heating. Modern, clean energy needs to take the place of non-renewable and unsustainable resources to ensure a livable future for all of us.

Targets & Indicators

When the UN General Assembly introduced the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they listed the targets that needed to meet for each goal. These targets break down what needs to be achieved to consider the goal completed. The UN Statistical Commission created the IAEG (International Agency and Expert Group) in 2017, which was tasked with creating the “indicators” for each target. These indicators were created to put measures in place to track the process being made on each target.

Targets and indicators were developed by the UN as a working blueprint for nations, organizations, and people to use when implementing SDGs in their everyday actions. Looking to the targets for the respected goal is the best way to execute the use of them in your work.


By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services.
  1. 7.1.1 Proportion of Population with Access to Electricity
  2. 7.1.2 Proportion of Population with Primary Reliance on Clean Fuels and Technology


By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
  1. 7.2.1 Renewable Energy Share in the Total Final Energy Consumption


By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  1. 7.3.1 Energy Intensity Measured in Terms of Primary Energy and GDP


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.
  1. 7.a.1 International Financial Flows to Developing Countries in Support of Clean Energy Research and Development and Renewable Energy Production, Including in Hybrid Systems


By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries in accordance with their respective programs of support.
  1. 7.b.1 Installed Renewable Energy-Generating Capacity in Developing Countries (in Watts per Capita)

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