It is estimated that 1.1 billion people in the world today have no access to electricity. This is 14 per cent of the world’s population. Some 85 per cent of those without access to electricity live in rural areas, mainly in Africa. Furthermore, 2.8 billion people do not have access to clean forms of energy for cooking.
Nowhere else in the world is radical economic transformation more urgent than in the least developed countries, which have the challenge of accumulating productive capacities at an unprecedented speed, in the face of the rapid reorientation of global production and digital transformation, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Seaborne trade expanded by four percent in 2017, the fastest growth in five years, according to its Review of Maritime Transport 2018. Volumes across all segments are set to grow in 2018, with containerized and dry bulk commodities expected to record the fastest growth at the expense of tanker volumes.
The world economy remains on shaky ground a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, with trade wars a symptom of a deeper malaise, according to UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2018: Power, Platforms and the Free Trade Delusion.
The goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will guide development policy action over the coming years, in the pursuit of a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
Global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23 per cent in 2017. Cross-border investment in developed and transition economies dropped sharply, while growth was near zero in developing economies.
Images of thousands of African youth drowning in the Mediterranean, propelled by poverty or conflict at home and lured by the hope of jobs abroad, have fed a misleading narrative that migration from Africa harms rather than helps the continent.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”, the divisive method of extracting natural gas from shale formations, should be approached with caution by countries seeking ways to increase access to energy, says a new UNCTAD report on shale gas.