What is more important to raising the standard of living for people in poverty: clean water or access to electricity? The United Nations says “both” and includes both causes in its list of Sustainable Development Goals. And both are key to achieving the UN’s other goals.
Today, we’ll look at energy.
By Mike Hughes, Forbes
In places like the US, the UK and across Europe, we take electricity for granted. At the flick of a switch, push of a button or increasingly when sensors sense, we have light, heating, and communication. We rarely even think about, let alone appreciate, having been born in a county where energy is so readily available. This, however, is not the reality experienced by all. According to the World Bank, nearly one billion people, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, do not have access to electricity.
Along with making daily tasks near impossible – such as refrigerating food or working or studying after dark – a lack of energy in the form of electricity fundamentally restricts the development of many countries. Access to electricity reduces poverty, increases opportunity, and improves health, productivity and living standards. It powers devices that make daily living more efficient, freeing-up the populations time to grow the economy in other more creative ways.
Electricity is an essential part of innovation, progress and life. And lack of access represents more than just a loss of potential. It stands against the moral principles that govern our decisions at every level. And it goes against the basic principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which promotes equality and the right to an adequate standard of living to promote health and well-being.