Recent research, led by Stefan Buzarowski, a professor at the University of Manchester and chairman of the Energy Poverty Research Network, has reached up to 80 million households across Europe. They were struggling to keep their homes warm before the outbreak.
The European Union (EU) has said it will not be able to cope with the crisis. Only four European countries – France, Ireland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom – have official definitions, but experts say the problem is widespread.
Now, inflation is putting many households at risk of being cut off from power and gas grids because they can’t pay their bills. Many are at risk because their income has fallen and their accounts have been increased during the epidemic. Workers in the retail, hospitality, and airline sectors were particularly affected, and many lost their jobs.
Much has changed since 2019, but more than 12 million households [in Europe] Were [already] Consumer consultants and policy analysts are in debt over a clean energy transfer project.
According to the umbrella group, which includes energy rights, trade unions, environmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, seven million European households receive power outages every year.
According to Sunderland, the outbreak has exacerbated the problem because many people spend more time at home, increasing their energy consumption.
At the same time, gas suppliers are struggling to keep up with last summer’s demand for heating and air conditioning during the hot summer months. That shortage has pushed consumer and wholesale prices down.
The future of natural gas has more than doubled in the last three months, according to Dutch head office. Inflation data published on Thursday shows that consumer prices in France and Italy are rising.
A long-standing problem
Buzarowski told CNN that “the risk of falling into extreme poverty among Europeans is double that of total poverty.”
He said between 20% and 30% of Europe’s population is living in total poverty, and up to 60% are suffering from energy poverty in some countries.
Bulgaria has the highest percentage of power-hungry people in Europe at 31%, followed by Lithuania at 28%, tropical Cyprus at 21% and Portugal at 19%. The Swiss population is at least 0.3% vulnerable to extreme poverty, followed by Norway at 1%.
Experts and campaigners have argued that the EU should soon cut off households from energy sources and impose sanctions on suppliers. But they warn that only reducing gas dependence and introducing more renewables into energy mix can curb price fluctuations in the long run.
“It is not clear why we do not have a wide-ranging EU ban,” Bourovsky said. He said the application could be similar to how the union canceled the mobile phone bill.
“We must look at access to energy in the same way as human rights,” said Martha Myers, a climate advocate and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth in Europe. To energy combination.
Fears of civil unrest
Observers warn that there may be political unrest if governments do not take action to help families.
Buzarowski referred to the protests that have rocked France in recent years:
Rising oil prices sparked protests across Bulgaria in 2013 and sparked protests in 2018.
France has announced a 100 100 million ($ 116) one-time payment for nearly 6 million households who already receive energy vouchers from the government. Spain has moved to reduce household energy taxes and to impose taxes on some energy suppliers.
The Italian government has pledged up to ቢሊዮን 3 billion ($ 3.5 billion) to subsidize up to 5.5 million vulnerable people, Reuters reported. The government will remove some fixed fees from consumer utility bills used by suppliers to cover overlap with renewable energy subsidies.
Earlier this month, European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the EU had “tools” to address the situation.
»[Sales tax] And excise policy, measures aimed at energy impoverished and vulnerable consumers or temporary measures for families and small businesses, as well as direct support for consumers are all measures that can be taken in full compliance with EU law. ” Meeting with energy ministers in Slovenia.