Affordable and clean Energy

SDG 7 - Energy

SDG 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Energy is everywhere in a modern society, it is essential for travel, heating, prepare food or power machines. A reliable influx of energy often in the form of electricity is crucial for many aspects in a society, such as the health sector. Without it, maintenance of many important functions, like cooling chains for vaccinations or service of a blood bank are not possible. Furthermore, it would limit the availability of life saving treatments in health care facilities Another concern that would influence health indirectly would be the thegeneral lack of hygiene standards due to the inability of cooling of meat or other temperature sensitive foods . This causesincreased risk of diseases like parasite infections.

However, not all energy sources are equally beneficial for public health. While all of them generate energy, some release pollutants, affecting the human health. Estimated 3 billion people rely on unclean energy sources like wood or coal for food preparation or heating, which create strong indoor pollution. In addition, 1 billion people do not have access to electricity in their home, creating the need to use kerosene lamps or candles for illumination, creating more pollution. The production of indoor pollution due to unclean energy sources causes many respiratory diseases, affecting mainly women and children. It is estimated that around 600’000 children under five die each year because of respiratory diseases linked to indoor and outdoor pollution caused by unclean energy sources. Many more develop impaired respiratory functions leading to chronic diseases, hindering education and reducing the ability of a good work-life. This contributes to maintenance of the often poor life conditions, leading to a vicious cycle. Hence, it is only natural that the UN anchored the access of affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, in their 17 sustainable development goals, as SDG 7.


Christoff Galvao
PhD student
University of Basel