Envisioning the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Through the Lens of Energy sustainability (SDG 7) in the Post-COVID-19 World

The United Nations (UN) have formulated seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and thus, humans were trying to traverse the sustainable path. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged and forced out the ephemeral conventional approaches. Thus, the post-COVID world indicates the need for sustainable development and strategies in par with the ecosystem. The authors propose this study as a guide to direct the post-pandemic scenario into the sustainable pathway by prioritizing energy sustainability to engage the actions for achieving the SDGs. The analysis in this study commences with the investigation of pronounced impacts in the energy sector with its influence on the progress towards sustainability. To pursue the path of energy sustainability, a qualitative analysis is performed in a parallel approach from the key viewpoint of the renewable and sustainable energy transition, digital transformation of the energy sector and energy affordability in the post-COVID world. A SWOT-AHP hybrid methodology is employed to identify the significance of each strategy or issues to be focused on immediately in the post-COVID world. The study also discusses energy sustainability from political bodies and policy makers’ perspective, and the actual scenario where we are headed is revealed with the aid of process-tracing method. Furthermore, a novel quantitative analysis is established to represent the SDG’s interaction and the result shows that the SDG 7 is the underpinning goal in relative to other SDGs. In context with it, the mapping of energy sustainability to the sustainable world is accomplished. The ultimate inference from envisioning the SDGs through energy sustainability shows that a sustainable world would result after the pandemic. However, the changes in the energy market, investment preferences and more importantly, the decisions influenced by the political bodies in the post-COVID-world is decisive in achieving the same in a stipulated time frame.

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Ref: Elavarasan, R. M., Pugazhendhi, R., Jamal, T., Dyduch, J., Arif, M. T., Kumar, N. M., … & Nadarajah, M. (2021). Envisioning the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Lens of Energy Sustainability (SDG 7) in the post-COVID-19 world. Applied Energy, 116665.