(18 September 2017) Trade unions, anti-poverty associations and environmental NGOs met with Members of the European Parliament
Awareness on the causes and consequences of energy poverty has been increasing for a decade and now is the time for action, declared the Right to Energy Coalition on the occasion of a breakfast organised on Tuesday 12th of September in the European parliament in Strasbourg. On the eve an op-ed of the coalition was published here
The figures on energy poverty in Europe are sobering. Up to 125 million Europeans cannot adequately heat their homes. 80 million Europeans live in damp homes. Up to 100,000 excess winter deaths are directly linked to cold homes. Energy poverty impacts the most vulnerable populations first: the elderly, children, people living with chronic disease, and single-parent households (80% of them headed by women).
Energy poverty has many causes but it is not just a matter of the social affairs and palliative measures. We advocate for MEPs to support a series of measures to fight energy poverty in the current European legislation and not just to leave this battle to individual Member States, we therefore propose:
- The recognition of clean and affordable energy as a basic human right in EU legislation (prohibition of disconnections and ensuring a basic minimum quantity of electricity to vulnerable consumers)
- Concrete targets for energy efficiency measures which benefit to low income households without additional costs for tenants.
Theresa Griffin, UK, hosted the meeting on behalf of the S&D group. Members of the European Parliament from the Greens and the United Left also attended the breakfast. All of them highlighted the urgent need to strengthen measures to eradicate energy poverty in the “clean energy package for all Europeans”.
Guillaume Durivaux and Pablo Sanchez, policy officers, represented EPSU at this event and spoke on behalf of the RightToEnergy coalition. EPSU together with EAPN has published a brochure on the issue.