Clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels can dramatically cut exposure to harmful cooking smoke. Expanding access to reliable, affordable electricity supply can make polluting, dangerous kerosene lamps and candles redundant, and power vital medical equipment.
In remote areas, decentralised clean energy solutions such as solar panels and mini-grids can light the way and give health workers the means to do their jobs effectively, saving lives and promoting health.
Women, who are most at risk, stand to gain most from solutions like these, but whole communities benefit. And freed from the onerous chore of finding firewood, women can spend their time on more productive tasks, empowering them economically and socially.
The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative is working to ensure universal access to modern energy services by 2030 – while also ramping up renewable energy and efficient energy use to help fight climate change.
This is the essence of the new Sustainable Development Goal 7, adopted by the international community in September 2015 to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.” But the value of energy goes further than that: it is a key that unlocks progress across all the other Sustainable Development Goals, including those on health and gender equality.
Corporate work for the UN Clean Energy is Life campaign