SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy

Energy from wood provides 40% of today’s global renewable energy supply and has an important role in providing accessible, affordable and reliable basic energy services.

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy

Sustainable Development Goal

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, or food production, access to energy for all is essential. An increased use of renewable energy is crucial to creating more sustainable and inclusive communities and resilience to environmental issues like climate change.

Forests and SDG 7: 

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

Fuels derived from wood contribute more than 87 percent of all biomass energy. WBA

Forests and trees provide wood fuel for cooking, heating and industrial needs as well as by protecting watersheds to enable hydropower generation. 

In addition to being used for cooking and sterilizing water, woodfuel has a wider role as a source of energy, including heating homes and for electricity generation. Energy from wood provides 40% of today’s global renewable energy supply, as much as solar, hydroelectric and wind power combined.

The availability, accessibility, affordability and reliability of woodfuel is important for its role as a safety net for basic energy services in times of scarcity or sudden discontinuation of conventional fuel supplies, as can arise from natural disasters or humanitarian crises.

Wood fuel therefore makes a significant contribution to energy provision and is critical for many of the world’s poor and people in vulnerable situations.

Related SDG target (abbreviated)

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

7.2 Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030

PEFC and SDG 7

PEFC certification ensures that woodfuel from certified forests is effective as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels, whilst avoid adverse environmental impacts. 

We recognize the importance of forests in capturing and storing carbon, so forest managers are required to maintain a careful balance between harvesting mature trees and growing new trees, optimizing the climate benefits that forest provide. 

Woodfuel is generally considered the most affordable and reliable energy source. FAO

The ecological, social, economic, and cultural values that forest provide need to be safeguarded, while at the same time the capability of forests to produce wood – and woodfuel - on a sustainable basis must be maintained – this requires careful, sustainable forest management. 

PEFC combines both the need for a responsible management of our forests and a sustainable production of woodfuel as an renewable energy source that helps minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Selected PEFC criteria (abbreviated) and standards

8.1.1 Management shall aim to maintain or increase forests and their ecosystem services and maintain or enhance the economic, ecological, cultural and social values of forest resources.

8.1.2 The quantity and quality of the forest resources and the capacity of the forest to store and sequester carbon shall be safeguarded in the medium and long term.

8.3.1 The capability of forests to produce a range of wood and non-wood forest products and services on a sustainable basis shall be maintained.

8.3.4 The standard requires that harvesting levels of both wood and non-wood forest products shall not exceed a rate that can be sustained in the long term, and optimum use shall be made of the harvested products.

8.5.1 The standard requires that protective functions of forests for society, such as their potential role in climate regulation, carbon sequestration and other regulating or supporting ecosystem services shall be maintained or enhanced.

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