Energy is a key factor for ensuring prosperous economic development, and so access to energy is critical for increased well-being of poorer nations. The backdrop for this goal is that parts of the world’s population today suffer due to lack of access to electricity. Many least developed countries (LDCs) use little energy, and the little that they use is mainly served by burning locally available wood on open fires. This is problematic because it contributes to deforestation, which, in turn, contributes to climate change and desertification. In addition, pollutant soot represents a major health hazard, causing respiratory diseases.
While the environmental footprint is a major challenge for all regions, poor energy access is mainly an issue for developing nations. We consider that the continued and enormous appetite for energy in USA is a sign that it fails to fulfil the goal’s demand for “modern” energy. China scores high on all indicators and gets a green rating. All other regions score low on some indicators and high on others, and so achieve yellow ratings.
Understanding the score
Five regions: USA, OECD (excl. USA), China, BRISE (Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and 10 other emerging economies), ROW (rest of the world).
Green light: Goal likely to be reached.
Orange light: Goal not likely to be reached, but more than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.
Red light: Goal not likely to be reached, and less than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.