Together with EPSU (the European Public Service Unions) we contributed to the Briefing: the Right to Affordable Clean Energy for all Europeans! Energy poverty is already affecting over 50 million Europeans, and this number is growing frighteningly fast.
Equal access to clean and affordable energy must be guaranteed within the EU transition towards climate neutrality and the European Pillar of Social Rights.
This human right must be anchored therefore in a range of policies to address structural inequalities and citizens must be involved in the decision-making mechanisms.
Carbon inequalities mean that the poorest half of Europeans have cut emissions by almost a quarter, while emissions from the wealthiest 10% continue to rise. People experiencing poverty face a high risk of getting locked in the fossil fuel infrastructure and hence paying the cost of decarbonisation. A public and democratic energy system is needed as market mechanisms are fundamentally incapable of solving this human rights issue.
This briefing aims to be a resource for concrete action to take control over our energy! It offers background information on the crises of energy poverty and pricing and inspiration as to what can be done at EU and national level with recommendations for -and beyond- planned energy measures.
Emergency measures should be accompanied by sustainable long-term structural solutions such as a socially-just green transition in the job market, adequate income and social protection, fair pricing, fully subsidised renovation and energy efficiency programmes, and large investment in renewable programmes for those that need them most.
It was written by Juan Carlos Benito Sanchez, independent researcher, with the support of Sabrina Iannazzone and Valeria Zanini (EAPN) and Jakob Embacher (EPSU). EAPN and EPSU are two members of the Right to Energy coalition and presented the briefing recently at the Right to Energy forum on January 24. See here for more info about the coalition’s work.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. An op-ed was written for the briefing and can be accessed here.