Guatemala’s progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, is as follows

By: Salvador Del Valle


This article reflects a reality of our world, which increasingly needs processes within companies to be able to mitigate the impacts of the environment. We can generate a change in our environment, if only we set a strategy that is aligned and meets these goals, in addition to trying to leave a better world for those to come.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were adopted in September 2015 as a set of global goals to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a sustainable development agenda (

The main objective is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all the world’s people, which involves actions by governments, private sector and civil society.

Among the targets defined for this Goal are the following:

“7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services;

7.2 By 2030, significantly increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix;

7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency:

7.a By 2030, increase international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewables, energy efficiency, and advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean technologies; 7.b By 2030, increase international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewables, energy efficiency, and advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean technologies;

7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and improve technology to provide modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in line with their respective support programmes;” (

Because energy production has long been based on fossil fuels derived from oil, coal and gas, the greenhouse gases generated by these fuels have contributed to climate change and have had effects on the climate we have today.

Although developed countries have already implemented measures and policies to reduce the effects, it is not enough, taking into account that developing countries also have generation based on fossil fuels, coal and gas.

In order to maintain energy generation matrices that can sustain the development of these countries, they must have generation based on fossil fuels, coal or gas, but they must also focus on promoting the development, construction and use of energy generation based on renewable technologies. Promoting the use of this type of technology is a power of the states, either through tax incentives or other types of benefits for private investors, in the event that the state itself decides not to do it by itself.

But as a private sector, efforts can also be made to comply with SDG 7, which can include both the installation and consumption of energy from a renewable source, such as the installation of solar equipment that supplies all or part of the energy consumed, as well as establishing mechanisms for energy efficiency in plants or offices.

Additionally, there are several incentives for the generation of renewable energy, from the issuance of certificates for the avoided greenhouse gas emissions to certification with a green seal for the use of this type of technology, to the decarbonization processes that are being implemented in first world countries. These certifications are recognized by different companies that in turn are committed to other SDGs and may imply an improvement in purchasing conditions or benefits, such as credit with more favorable conditions.

If the company so decides, and undoubtedly the shareholders should be the first to be convinced that this is the path to follow, the decision should be incorporated into the company’s medium and long-term strategy, committing all levels of the organization to the achievement of these goals. The way to achieve the proposed goals entails, apart from the strategy, a control and incentive methods to compensate the effort involved in this task.

The controls in the fulfillment of the steps that lead to the goal must be strict, measurable and achievable, among other characteristics, so that people can turn it into a way of doing things and that this eventually becomes part of the organizational culture and processes, both in the operations that can generate a large impact, as well as in the other areas within the organization.

These types of initiatives, however small they may be compared to the initiatives that entire countries can promote, collaborate with the fulfillment of the objectives set to minimize the effects of climate change, as well as the specific targets for SDG 7.

At present, these are the data that we have and that should be impacted by the targets for this SDG 7:

13% of the world’s population still does not have access to modern electricity services.
3 billion people depend on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating food.
Energy is the main contributor to climate change, accounting for about 60% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
Indoor air pollution from the use of fuels for household energy caused 4.3 million deaths in 2012, 6 out of 10 of these were women and girls.
In 2015, 17.5% of final energy consumption was from renewable energy.

All these efforts are undoubtedly actions that have to be carried out jointly, with the issuance of laws and policies from the State, with the work of the private sector and individuals, not only to meet these goals, but also helping with the fulfillment of other SDGs.