Energy and the MDGs
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seek to halve poverty by 2015. The UN Millennium Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2000. The eight MDGs include: eradicate extreme poverty & hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop a global partnership for development.
Energy and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Although none of the eight Millennium Development Goals specifically address energy, access to sustainable and clean energy contributes directly to achieving all Millennium Development Goals.
Its importance was acknowledged in later documents i.e. in 2005 as follows: “Improved energy services – including modern cooking fuels, access to electricity, and motive power – are necessary for meeting almost all the Goals. (…) The UN Millennium Project proposes that countries adopt the following specific target … by 2015: Reduce the number of people without effective access to modern cooking fuels by 50% and make improved cook stoves widely available. Provide access to electricity to all schools, health faclites, and other key community facilities. Ensure access to motive power in each community. Provide access to electricity and modern energy services for all urban and peri-urban poor."
During the UN High Level Plenary Meeting in September 2010, a follow-up resolution to the outcome of the Millennium Summit was adopted. In this outcome document, several issues relating to energy access, security, clean and renewable energy, etc. are set forth, emphasising the importance of energy for sustainable development. (See mainly §46, §77 for energy related aspects of the MDGs).
1.4 billion people don't have access to electricity. Some three billion people rely on traditional use of firewood, charcoal, agricultural residues or coal for cooking. The challenge lies in finding ways to reconcile this necessity and demand for energy with its impact on the natural resource base in order to ensure that sustainable development goals are realized.
The MDGs, a critical set of objectives to achieving sustainability, cannot be met without major improvement in the quality and quantity of energy services in developing countries.
Increasing access to modern energy services requires integrated development of enabling policy frameworks, development of local capacities, investment in infrastructure, development and/or adaptation of technologies and provision of knowledge-based advisory services.
The emerging concurrence on the role of energy in sustainable development consists of three key points:
- Energy services are an essential input to economic development and social progress, notably to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The table below summarises the linkages between energy and the multiple aspects of development.
- Provision of energy services to poor populations in many developing countries under current economic conditions is not attractive to market actors. Priming markets through development and support for businesses is necessary to deliver improved quantity and quality of energy services.
- Governments and public authorities must act dynamically to create the conditions that will allow greatly expanded access to energy services. Public action in all forms - investment, regulatory action, ODA is absolutely necessary.
Sustainable, affordable energy services are essential to attain all of the MDGs, in particular poverty reduction, improved health, gender equality and sustainable management of natural resources.
Importance of Energy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
|Millennium Development Goal
||Role of energy|
|1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
|2) Achieve universal primary education
|3) Promote gender equality and empower women
|4) Reduce child mortality
|5) Improve maternal health
|6) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
|7) Ensure environmental sustainability
|8) Develop a global partnership for development
- A detailed view on the role of cooking energy in achieving the MDGs can be accessed here.
- Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
- UN Assembly outcome document A/RES/65/1 (2010/10/19): htttp://www.un.org/en/mdg/summit2010/pdf/outcome_documentN1051260.pdf
- UNDP Fast Facts: Universal Energy Access (2022): http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/fast-facts/english/FF-Universal-Energy-Access.pdf
- GTZ (2007): Eastern Africa Resource Base: GTZ Online Regional Energy Resource Base: Regional and Country Specific Energy Resource Database: I - Energy Technology
- Energising Development (EnDev) - https://energypedia.info/wiki/Energising_Development_%28EnDev%29