Energy lies at the heart of human progress. Access to clean, renewable energy improves lives, alleviates poverty and propels economic development without destroying our planet. But energy access for all will remain a hollow phrase if leaders fail to significantly invest in decentralized renewable energy.
Access to energy is a human right and is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015. However, one billion people still live without electricity and more than three billion lack access to clean cooking.
Green and inclusive energy is about making energy systems sustainable and fair: from policy and regulation, to energy providers and businesses, to financial institutions and consumers. Making energy systems green and inclusive has multiple benefits for everyone and for our planet.
Green energy comes from a renewable source such as sun, wind, or water (hydro power). Off-grid energy from renewable sources is the fastest and most cost-effective way to deliver energy access.
To protect our planet we need a rapid change away from fossil fuels. The extraction and consumption of oil, gas, and coal is a key driver of climate change and leads to instability and pollution across the world.
The energy we produce is not distributed evenly. The vast majority of people without access to energy live in poor countries and often in remote areas far from a central electricity grid.
Access to affordable and green energy leads to great improvements in health, education, and opportunities for women. It also spurs entrepreneurship and increases income because local businesses can use energy for productive uses.