Over 20 per cent of the global population — 1.4 billion people — have no access to electricity.
According to a joint report by International Energy Agency (IEA) and United Nations Development Programme released in New York, about 40 per cent of the global population — 2.7 billion people — rely on traditional use of biomass for cooking.
The lack of access to modern energy services could pose a serious threat to global economic development and needs to be addressed if the UN Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved, the report said.
The full report is slated to be published on November 9.
Under the Copenhagen Accord, several countries have already made pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The G20 and Apec countries are also working towards phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, the IEA has said.