Millions of people in the EU are facing challenges with energy bills and the ongoing energy crisis has worsened the situation for the most vulnerable.
With the latest review on energy poverty and the event on Energizing Equity, the topic is one of the major themes on EAPN’s agenda.
During our last event “Energizing Equity: Uniting Voices to Confront Energy Poverty for a Just Transition” in July – organized by EAPN and hosted by the EESC – we took a closer look at energy poverty in the context of the green transition and the cost-of-living crisis. A just transition needs to emphasize social equity, workers’ rights, community engagement, gender equity, digital gaps and environmental sustainability by promoting a holistic approach to affordable energy access and transition.
We provided a platform for an open dialogue and knowledge exchange, focusing on the experiences and voices of individuals affected by energy poverty.
The speakers highlighted the following remarks:
- “Energy poverty is a multidimensional and multifaceted phenomenon.”
- “Children are disproportionally affected: it is impossible to bring up healthy children without child benefits and support for the green transition.”
- “How can everyone benefit from the renovation wave? People in energy poverty must be prioritized. There are very shallow renovation waves to get to the energy targets by 2030 nor at the level of ambition to shield the most vulnerable from high energy bills.”
- “The polluter pays principle: this must be applied in a socially responsible way.”
- “We need to see sustainability in its broadest sense including social and economic sustainability because one cannot go without the other.”
- “The main crucial point is when we talk about social rights: these must be a main priority for Member States because it stabilizes in times of crises. Member States must invest in this for our future.”
- “Energy poverty is only one aspect, we also need to talk about housing and food. We need the green transition to be a success for everyone. We should not wait for political solutions, we should also act. We are also actors of change.”
- “If we look at the current framework, the approach does not have enough room for social investment. We call for investments in green transition and social investment to be excluded from the 3% GDP rule.”
- “We need a national and European response that takes all these dimensions into account, one that takes people’s opinions and expertise into consideration.”
- “It’s time to radically change the way we approach the topic and really engage people who pay the highest price in terms of exclusion and poverty.”
Watch the full recording: