Right to Energy conference brings NGOs and activists together to fight energy poverty

“Let’s look at what a child needs from the moment it wakes up until it goes to bed. Parents should not need to choose between food or heating/cooling” says MEP Theresa Griffin at the Right to Energy Forum on 20 June in Brussels.

Although barely talked about and in some countries not even defined, Energy Poverty is a sad reality in all over Europe. It is estimated that up to 50 million families are unable to heat or cool their houses due to high energy prices.

To tackle energy poverty and defend the right for all Europeans to clean and affordable energy, the Right to Energy Coalition organised a forum in Brussels on 19 and 20 June. Unions, activists and social and environmental organisations gathered for the Right to Energy forum, which combined plenary discussion and workshops on

  • Defending the right to energy! Actions and actors
  • The new EU energy package: new opportunities for a socially fair energy transition
  • Reporting on Energy Poverty: National Focus & EU Perspectives
  • Citizen empowerment from social movements
  • Including vulnerable groups in Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) – Towards an inclusive design of the Energy Transition
  • Energy poverty from an Eastern European angle
  • Energy, sustainability, and state society (transnational) capital complexes: the enemy within and hostage labour “aristocracy”
  • 100% renewable energy transition of EECCA region. Cooperation in post-Soviet reality
  • Access to rights and energy poverty: how could we simplify the process for the most
    vulnerable, how can we ensure a better enforcement?
  • Energy poverty and gender. An experience from the perspective of empowerment

After discussions in the workshops, the participants collected ideas and statement which were presented on the next day in front of three newly elected MEPs, Cornelia Ernst (DE, GUE), Theresa Griffin (UK, S&D) & Saskia Bricmont (BE, Greens). At the end the coalition presented a joint declaration stressing that climate and social justice have to go hand in hand and demanding a new energy system that puts people and the planet before profit with key proposals:

The Right to Energy Coalition was formed in 2017 by European trade unions, social, anti-poverty and environmental civil society organisations, including COFACE Families Europe, with the objective of collaborating on the issue of energy poverty.

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