EPSU statement on the future of energy at a time of crisis

EPSU statement on the future of energy at a time of crisis image

(16 March 2022) The future of energy in Europe is facing a deep crisis exacerbated by Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. It comes at a time when Europe had already been facing rising prices of energy, above all gas. The consequences for workers and users will be serious in Europe. In a new statement, EPSU raises its grave concerns surrounding the current situation and calls for profound reforms to protect users from energy poverty.

EPSU represents energy workers, their unions and other public service workers. Our members stand in solidarity with Ukrainian workers and the people who face incredible hardships as a result of the war. The suffering will also impact workers and people in Russia and Europe, as the consequences of the war are felt. Our members also express their concern and solidarity towards Ukrainian workers.

Prior to the war in Ukraine, long-term forecasts had shown that the rapid increase of energy prices was not simply a hiccup of the market. Instead, the prices are signals of deeper problems linked to our energy policy in Europe, like liberalisation, austerity or restriction of state control.

We need to raise fundamental questions about the energy future we want. Low-carbon, affordable and reliable energy supplies at fair prices are needed to deliver the right to energy. We do not need further liberalisation of energy markets in Europe. Instead, we need to strengthen the public service of energy supply. The rise of energy prices needs to be controlled and price regulation as well as windfall taxes on the profits of corporations are needed.

We call on the Commission to prioritise an open debate on our energy future in the interest of people and planet. Such a debate must take seriously alternatives to the energy market and current free-market dogmas. It must include an independent examination of the effects of energy liberalisation on our energy supply and our ability to address the challenges of decarbonisation to get to net zero. Europe’s energy unions in EPSU are ready to engage in this debate.

Read our statement below, in EN - FR - DE - ES - SV - RU (adopted by the EPSU Executive Committee on 4 - 5 May 2022):