Energy governance

Far from the news headlines, 770 million people on Earth cannot turn on a light switch or plug in an electric appliance. This is their reality – not after an extreme weather event, an earthquake, or during times of conflict, but every day. This energy poverty affects their livelihoods, education, food security, health, and every aspect of their lives.

Energy is essential for social and economic development. Good energy governance is needed to ensure a just energy transition that brings people out of poverty, reduces social inequalities, supports human rights, and serves the broader public interest rather than just that of specific groups.

The commitment to “leave no one behind” requires increasing energy access to those who are furthest behind, most challenging to reach, and living in crisis situations. It also requires improving energy efficiency and accelerating the energy transition by capitalizing on clean energy technologies, innovating business models, and developing new strategies for private sector investments. In this context, UNDP and its partners have pledged to provide clean and affordable energy for 500 million more people by 2025 and to ensure everyone is plugged into some form of electricity by 2030.

UNDP works to increase access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, increase the global rate of efficiency improvements and increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. We do this by strengthening the capacities and capabilities of institutions to ensure they are responsive, accountable, trustworthy, transparent, and able to address intersecting challenges and opportunities in the energy sector. We also focus on developing or supporting legal and regulatory frameworks that promote renewable energy, encourage private investments, support new clean energy innovations and foster innovative business models for the energy sector.

As civic engagement and empowerment play a critical role in supporting an energy transition, UNDP also works with governments to empower citizens and communities to participate in problem diagnosis and co-create energy solutions. The voices of women, youth, indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and others who are often excluded from public policymaking yet most impacted must be incorporated into energy decision-making processes. 

Lastly, UNDP works to strengthen appropriate oversight mechanisms so they can perform their important role in the energy governance of the 21st century by ensuring compliance with fundamental rights and standards. These include national parliaments and their committees, independent agencies, ombudspersons, human rights commissions, anticorruption agencies, investigation and judiciary bodies, and consumer commissions.

Internally, UNDP's Advisory Group for Energy Governance is made up of 23 experts from across the globe — parliamentary representatives, government bodies, academia, private sectors, non-profit institutions, youth, and other civil society groups — to bring an intersectional and interdisciplinary mindset to provide constructive inputs to UNDP's work in this important sector. 

For more information on UNDP's Energy Governance work, read the blogs below, visit the related websites, and/or email us at