Report says 2.3 billion people worldwide use dirty fuels for cooking; 675 million have no electricity

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — As many as 2.3 billion people around the world still use dirty fuels for cooking and 675 million lack electricity, according to a report released Tuesday by five international organizations.

The report says that at the current rate, 660 million people are expected to be without electricity and 1.9 billion will have no clean cooking opportunities by 2030. This is the target date to achieve a United Nations goal set in 2015 “to ensure access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

The report by the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the United Nations Statistics Division, the World Bank and the World Health Organization indicates that halfway through course towards the goal, the world is not on track to meet the energy goal, which will negatively impact the health of millions of people and accelerate climate change.

“The energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to have a profound impact on people around the world,” International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. a statement. “High energy prices have hit the most vulnerable hard, especially those in developing economies.”

He said that even though the transition to clean energy is happening faster than people think, there is still a long way to go to deliver it to the billions who still live on it.

According to the report, global access to electricity increased from 84% in 2010 to 91% in 2021, but the pace of growth slowed in 2019-2021, which includes the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the electrification of rural areas has helped progress, there is still a big gap in urban areas, he said.

More than 80% of those without electricity – 567 million in 2021 – lived in sub-Saharan Africa, a deficit similar to that of 2010, according to the report.

The report also revealed that up to 2.3 billion people still use polluting fuels and technologies, including firewood.

Francesco La Camera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, said: “Competitive renewables have once again shown remarkable resilience, but the world’s poorest are still largely unable to to take full advantage of”.

According to WHO estimates in 2019, 3.2 million premature deaths each year were attributable to household air pollution from polluting fuels and technologies.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said investing in clear and renewable solutions to achieve universal energy access “can play a crucial role in protecting the health of our most vulnerable populations. vulnerable”.

Guangzhe Chen, World Bank vice president for infrastructure, called for urgent efforts “to ensure that the poorest and hardest to reach people are not left behind”.

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