(3 February 2022) EPSU and EAPN (European Anti-Poverty Network) together with hundreds of organisations, grassroots activists and policymakers gathered last week at the Right to Energy Forum, the biggest annual event on energy poverty in Europe. During the opening session of this forum, EPSU and EAPN presented their new joint briefing on the Right to Affordable, Clean Energy for All Europeans.
The briefing lays out why energy poverty cannot be solved by ‘letting the market play its game’. Energy poverty is already affecting over 50 million Europeans, a number that is growing frighteningly quickly. To guarantee the right to affordable clean energy, structural inequalities must be addressed. These inequalities span across economic, social, employment, energy, climate, taxation, welfare, housing, gender and health policies.
Equal access to clean and affordable energy must be guaranteed within the EU transition towards climate neutrality and the European Pillar of Social Rights. 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.
The briefing is 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 on what can be done at EU and national level with recommendations for - and beyond - planned energy measures.
It was written by Juan Carlos Benito Sanchez, 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.