The U.N’s 7th sustainable development goal is to ensure everyone has access to affordable, reliable, and modern electricity and energy services by 2030. Around a billion people live without adequate and sufficient access to electricity, mostly concentrated in the Sub-Saharan African and South Asia regions. Remote, poor areas with a lack of infrastructure are hit hardest. But marginalized, poverty-stricken people all over the world lack access to energy and electricity.
I know specifically of the Honnold Foundation promoting equity in energy access through providing solar energy installation for communities in need. Some Governments are taking this route too, providing individual families with solar equipments, while other governments instead focus on expanding their power grids. Whichever route groups take, it is important to make sure the electricity is affordable for the people.
This issue is partly systemic. Energy Justice -growing as a more and more popular term under environmental justice – focuses on marginalized groups impacted by the environmental effects of burning fossil fuels, and the inequity of how energy is distributed between the wealthy and the poor.
Electricity and light enable us to do so much of what we do everyday. But I think of the simple things, like being able to have light after dark. In terms of education, light allows students to do homework and study when night comes. Also, cleaner energy for cooking is healthier than burning biomass.
Energy Justice tackles sustainability, equity, and interdependence: if given the light to be able to gain an education or work on a resume, people will be able to create better lives for themselves, and better the world as a whole.