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Greening Governance Seminar Series: Power Dynamics: Energy Sector Reform and the Political Economy of Energy Access

Join leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.

Event Recording

For decades, countries around the world have tried to reform the energy sector and universalize access to electricity. But today, 1.1 billion people still live without power, and millions more must contend with inadequate connections or frequent outages. Such limited access and poor service quality frustrate sustainable development efforts.

Without stronger, more reliable connections, small businesses’ productivity plummets, healthcare workers cannot administer refrigerated vaccines and children must study in the dark.

Governments, donors and companies are mobilizing billions of dollars to accelerate the pace of electrification and extend access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to all. But realizing these goals is as much a political challenge as it is a technical one.

Improving energy access needed to drive environmentally friendly growth hinges not just on new technologies and market shifts, but also on policy priorities, effective policy implementation and public-private collaboration. So what political economy dynamics need to change in order for these investments to succeed?

Join leading energy experts from around the world for a conversation on the challenges of promoting inclusive energy access and the political economy dynamics within the energy sector. Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.


  • Vivien Foster, Global Lead (Energy Economics, Markets and Institutions) and Practice Manager, Energy & Extractives, World Bank
  • Andrew Barnett, Director, The Policy Practice
  • Shantanu Dixit, Group Coordinator, Prayas (Energy Group)
  • Estomih. N. Sawe, Executive Director, TaTEDO
  • Moderated by: Davida Wood, Senior Associate, Energy Access and Governance, World Resources Institute

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About the Series

WRI's Greening Governance Seminar Series bridges the divide between the governance and environmental communities to identify solutions that benefit people and the planet.

  • Why do some environmental policies succeed in one country but fail in another?
  • What will it take to transform the Paris Agreement’s ambitious commitments into actionable policies?
  • How can decision-makers engage a range of stakeholders, from average citizens to Fortune 500 companies, to build support for policies that protect natural resources and the communities that depend on them?
  • How can governments sustain this environmental action across election cycles?
  • Many of the answers to these questions are, at heart, issues of governance.

Increasing public participation in environmental decision-making can deepen civil society’s commitment to climate change mitigation and yield more equitable, effective policies. Enhancing government transparency equips communities with the information that they need to engage in these policy-making processes. Strengthening accountability frameworks helps ensure that governments make progress on their Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets. In short, good governance can improve climate and environmental outcomes.

Yet the governance and climate communities continue to work in silos, conducting research and implementing programs that remain largely divorced from one another.

WRI’s Greening Governance Seminar Series seeks to bridge this divide by bringing together leading experts from both fields to discuss the intersection of their work, the most pressing environmental governance issues at hand, and solutions that benefit people and the planet.

Governance, Energy

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