The SDGs Report 2022 revealed that the world is at a critical juncture facing an unprecedented energy crisis. This, indeed, reflects that energy requirements will play a vital role in shaping the future.
We know it, no sustainable development, without sustainable energy. In the period between 2010 and 2019, 91% of the global population gained access to electricity up from 83 % lighting up the road for 1.3 billion people. The annual access growth between 2018 and 2020 was 0.5%, which is still less than the targeted universal access to be achieved in 2030. Yet, behind these hundreds of millions, ironically, hundreds of millions more fall behind. If we continue with business as usual, around 700 million people will be living in the dark worldwide, and more than 2.4 billion will be cooking with polluting fuels. Despite the progress made to promote renewable energies, the pace is not enough to implement SDG7. With this remarkable unparalleled abundance, significant efforts are required to reach those left behind in low-income, fragile and conflict-affected countries.
At this critical moment, COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries. Therefore, to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” is interlinked and intertwined with all other SDGs. This ambitious goal will help to light up houses and schools for children who are tired of darkness, would power hospitals and clinics for mothers to give birth, and pump clean water for vulnerable families. In short, it interlinks with all other SDGs.
Yet, to achieve this legacy comes responsibility!
Therefore, governments, the private sector, and NGOs in the east and west are working together to take significant steps to reduce GHG, build resilience, and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. This is the core of COP27: “Delivering for people and the planet”.
The question is: how will we achieve that?
Well, we do not need to look far!
Young people are standing as examples of grassroots efforts that make a substantial difference.
Yes, youth is powerful.
And when young activists act with science and passion, they can create effects that travel beyond borders. They are CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, mediators, peacemakers, and social media influencers. Equipped with the needed tools, and methodologies, young people can play a bonding role between governments and people, in advocacy and monitoring.
This highlights the importance of multi-stakeholders approaches to achieving SDGs. Investing in youth will fuel our future. It will bring power, and with it, empowerment. After all, the youth will reshape the future as they pave their own successful paths.
However, this does not suggest that this work is easy. We need open-minded leadership that views sustainable development as a fundamental pillar of a more stable, and prosperous tomorrow for us all.
By introducing the youth to a spectrum of boundless potential, we will bridge the abundance gap. Often untapped youth’s potential will significantly contribute to the conscience realization of SDGs through their enormous efforts of advocacy, capacity-building, awareness raising, policy development, and monitoring progress.
Written by: Hiba Mohammad