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Summer energy poverty: thinking outside of the box

The event “Summer energy poverty: thinking outside of the box” will take place within the EUSEW extended programme.

The EUSEW extended programme will take place in the week prior to EUSEW (EU Sustainable Energy Week) 2022 on 19-23 September. There will be a series of online events offering a further opportunity to promote and engage with issues surrounding renewables and Europe’s energy transition.

In this vein, we have joined forces as a consortium of five European projects and initiatives and organised the policy session “Summer energy poverty: thinking outside of the box”. The team consists of the H2020 projects COOLTORISE, EMPOWERMED and WELLbased, the NGO RETE ASSIST, and the non-profit network Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF).

In the EU, over 100 million people, mostly vulnerable, cannot keep their homes comfortably cool in summer. Hence more attention is needed to the issue of summertime energy poverty (SEP), in research and in policy-making.

Climate change is a reality that adversely affects lives worldwide. Heat waves and accompanying extreme weather events are disproportionately hitting the most vulnerable parts of the population. Our policy session focuses on summer energy poverty and the local energy action on a community level. It will present innovative approaches toward strengthening energy culture, through participatory approaches based on capacity building and behavioural change, to promote the population’s adaptation to temperature changes. The proposed policy recommendations and solutions focus on summer energy poverty and its impact on people’s lives. The session introduces the main challenges of summer energy poverty to offer an overview of suitable policies and measures in the short and long run. It is mainly addressing the challenges of the most vulnerable people, with lower income, people of colour, unemployed, elderly, women, and people with health issues. The main target audience is policy- and decision-makers, experts and youth.

The session is divided into three parts:

  1. Summer energy poverty as an outcome of climate change: Policy experts explain how it disproportionally affects the vulnerable people
  2. Presentation of solutions and recommendations from policy experts and EU
  3. Interactive part & Q&A.

The energy policy debate revolves around EU’s goal for decarbonisation in the context of the Green Deal. This session promotes ways for societies to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 while leaving no one behind. It also promotes a sustainable perspective of transmitting knowledge to the citizens (including young people) through behavioural change for adaptation to temperature changes. Summer energy  poverty needs more attention than it now receives in research, media, and decision/policymaking circles, focusing on a variety of solutions apart from air conditioning. This session links a variety of actors in a discussion on what needs to be done to tackle SEP. The policy recommendations will be applicable at the local and regional level (community engagement, urban interventions, local policies development); national level (National Energy Poverty Strategies, Long-Term Renovation Strategies); and European level (decarbonisation, electrification, energy markets, energy justice, ethics).



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