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Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

Energy has a key enabling role in achieving food security and better nutrition.

Current energy use in food systems is unsustainable. Modern food systems are heavily dependent on fossil fuels, consuming about 30 percent of the world’s available energy and producing more than 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, fluctuating global energy prices can have major consequences on global food security: energy prices affect the cost of agricultural inputs and production, and so influence food prices.

To deliver more food with less and cleaner energy, food and agriculture systems will gradually need to decouple from fossil fuel dependence, and embrace renewable energy sources.

Achieving the transformation to energy-smart food systems will require a systemic perspective, coordination in policymaking, appropriate legal frameworks and a comprehensive multi-stakeholder dialogue and global partnership to support action.

Using a water-energy-food nexus approach, the FAO multi-partner programme “Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate” seeks to support stakeholders in improving energy efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy, and improving access to modern energy services in food systems.

Facts and figures

  • Modern food systems are heavily dependent on fossil fuels, consuming about a third of the world’s available energy.
  • Seventy percent of the energy consumed by food systems occurs after food leaves farms, in transportation, processing, packaging, shipping, storage, marketing, etc.
  • An estimated one-third of the food we produce is lost or wasted, and with it an estimated 38 percent of energy consumed in food systems.
  • Nearly one in five people (1.4 billion) around the world do not currently have access to modern electricity services.
  • Approximately three billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, with adverse effects on health, the environment and economic development.

SDG7 Targets

  1. By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  2. By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  3. By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

a. By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

b. By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support 

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