Ensuring the fairness of the transition towards a climate neutral Union by 2050 lies at the heart the European Green Deal proposed by the Commission in December 2019. This includes addressing energy poverty, a situation where a household is unable to secure essential energy services needed to guarantee a decent standard of living.
The recently adopted “Clean Energy for all Europeans” legislative package provides some useful high-level principles and insights as to the potential causes and consequences of energy poverty and attaches importance to policies that tackle energy poverty. Indeed, for the first time, Member States are required to quantify the number of households in energy poverty. Where the number of households in poverty is significant, Member States must include in their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) an indicative objective to reduce energy poverty, provide a timeframe, and outline relevant policies. Such an exercise involves reporting obligations on the progress made towards the objective of reducing the number of households in energy poverty.
The purpose of this session is to address multi-stakeholder views on the way energy poverty measures are being developed and assessed across Member States. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, 2020 had been marked as a crucial year to evaluate the National Energy and Climate Plans. The decisive exercise we now face is to determine their level of ambition and whether we can deem the presented policies and measures realistic enough. Now, in the unprecedented context of the pandemic crisis, the EU Sustainable Week gives us a unique opportunity to discuss how these plans may shift across Member States by the profound effects of the crisis on our economies and the financial situation of families. In light of this unprecedented scenario, the Commission is honoured to host a panel discussion among energy attachés and stakeholders to exchange views on how Members States will continue the important fight against energy poverty.