A green bailout must put Europe’s energy poor first
(EurActiv, 23 Apr 2020) To weather the COVID-19 crisis, Europe’s energy-poor urgently need a green bailout – providing decent, zero-carbon homes for all, writes Clémence Hutin.
Clémence Hutin is a climate justice campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe and the Right to Energy coalition, a campaign group.
Energy poverty is a persistent European scourge, affecting millions, but today, COVID-19 is deepening this crisis. Confinement has led to soaring domestic energy consumption (and bills) as millions of families are forced to stay home in inadequate, unhealthy housing.
Moreover, many energy-poor people are the ‘essential workers’, facing low pay and risk as they have to keep working to keep essential services running. Lower-income households also pay proportionally more for energy.
We are not all in the same boat when a crisis hits: millions of more people are losing their livelihoods and face desperate situations, unable to afford basic necessities such as energy.