PES ECEN: affordable and clean energy must be guaranteed for all citizens

PES ECEN: affordable and clean energy must be guaranteed for all citizens

Energy poverty has long been a challenge across Europe, but the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and current energy price crisis risks pushing more people into energy poverty. Europe must accelerate a just green transition as this is the only way to guarantee affordable and clean energy for all.

Representatives of PES member parties and organisations, S&D Vice President for the Green Deal Mohammed Chahim, MEPs and others convened online in the ECEN this morning to exchange on policies to create a socially fair and sustainable future for all.

ECEN Chair, Javi Lopez MEP, said:

“During the last few months, energy prices have skyrocketed. The pandemic has left many with a reduced income or without a job permanently. High energy bills will further increase pressure on the most vulnerable households. 

“Many governments, like Spain, have already taken steps to mitigate the social impacts. The Commission presented its toolbox, which is very welcome, but we need to consider how we can do more. Affordable energy must be guaranteed for citizens.

“It is clear that Europe still relies too much on gas imports, leaving us vulnerable to fluctuations in international gas prices. We need to accelerate the green transition and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. 

“With the implementation of the Green Deal and the adoption of the Fit for 55 package under the leadership of the Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, we are moving towards realising our climate targets. The energy sector will play a major role in the decarbonisation of our economy. Decarbonisation will only be successful if it is just and socially fair, leaving nobody behind.”

The PES political family is determined to ensure the green transition leaves no one behind. Socialists and social democrats are committed to fighting energy poverty and supporting the clean energy transition for all. The European Green Deal is the central progressive tool to achieve this just transition, one that protects citizens, particularly those who are most vulnerable, ensuring that the ecological dimension goes hand in hand with the social dimension.

ECEN participants held an exchange on the Fit for 55 package – the European Commission’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 – with S&D Vice President for the Green Deal and rapporteur on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, Mohammed Chahim MEP. The Network welcomed the proposal for a Social Climate Fund to address any social challenges arising from the transition to a carbon-neutral EU.

The network also discussed sustainable food systems and the importance of guaranteeing a life in a healthy and clean environment for all.