A report from the Earth Institute at Columbia University said access to affordable and clean energy is central to global development challenges, though around 30 percent of the global population lacks modern energy services.
The 22-page report warns that progress in the developing world is lacking, adding more people in 2030 will be without modern energy services than in 2009 if current development trends continue.
"Changing this trend requires international political commitment that goes beyond abstraction and sets out targets, actions and associated benchmarks," the report said.
The report warned that measuring what was described as energy poverty is an elusive goal, the U.N. Industrial Development Organization added.
UNIDO co-wrote the report along with 11 other international agencies.
The U.N.'s advisory group in climate change in April called on the international community to provide universal access to energy by 2030 to help alleviate energy poverty.
"Agreeing on a global target for universal access to energy services will be an important step in moving to inclusive sustainable development," the report noted.