The Energy Challenge for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
Energy must play a more prominent role in strategies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Consumption of modern energy services by the poor falls far short of needs – and potential.
This UN-Energy paper on the importance of energy for achieving the MDGs was drafted collectively by the United Nations (UN) agencies, programmes and organizations working in the area of energy, reflecting their insights and expertise.
Currently, the available energy services fail to meet the needs of the poor. Worldwide, 2.4 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity. This situation entrenches poverty, constrains the delivery of social services, limits opportunities for women, and erodes environmental sustainability at the local, national and global levels. Much greater access to energy services is essential to address this situation and to support the achievement of the MDGs.