EAPN advocates for the right to energy in the European Parliament

Publish Date: 
Thursday, July 13, 2017

As part of a coalition engaging in advocacy action with the European Parliament, the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) contributed to the development of a letter to the members of the European Parliament regarding the right to energy for all Europeans.

The letter informes that up to 125 million Europeans cannot adequately heat their homes and 80 million people live in damp homes. It argues that energy poverty can be explained by three interconnected causes: high energy prices, low incomes, and energy inefficient housing. Energy poverty is a great concern because it impacts the most vulnerable populations first; including the elderly, children, and single-parent households. The letter recognizes that economic crisis, ensuing austerity policies and the growing precariousness of the labor market continue to be main drivers of the rise of poverty in Europe, while underscoring the critical role of energy policies as well.

Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy has been identified as one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In order to achieve these goals, efforts must be made to combat energy poverty in Europe by transforming and renovating energy systems. The letter affirms that EU policies must guarantee citizens, in particular low-income households, the ability to partake and benefit from the transition and to ensure that they are not burdened by extra expenses as a result. A list of demands to the members of the European Parliament offer a way forward with this important goal.

Please view the full letter here.