Energy sufficiency, a game changer to achieve resilience and sustainability after the crisis

EUSEW 2020 | Day 2 | Energy sufficiency, a game changer to achieve resilience and sustainability

In the recovery from COVID19, national governments and the EU as a whole will have to make difficult choices about where to put effort and investment. There are many calls not to go back to business as usual. Sufficiency thinking - focusing on what people really need and ensuring everyone's basic needs can be met, while limiting the impacts of our consumption on the planet and other populations- can help us consider which sectors and activities are priorities, which new activities should be supported, and which allowed to decline. 

Looking at the Green deal as a key policy driver in the post-crisis recovery, this session will discuss why it is important to consider demand-side measures based on societal change as one of the three pillars of EU energy and climate policy, together with the development of supply-based and efficient technologies. It will look at how sufficiency can be a game changer to secure mitigation targets together with energy efficiency policies (e.g. how to avoid efforts in the efficiency of products being outgrown or counterbalanced by more emitting consumption and behavioural patterns).

Transforming our economies through sufficiency also calls for the definition of decisions-making criteria based on sustainability, resilience and robustness. It implies a distinction between needs and wants, contrary to our current economic model. Can this distinction help us develop a new, more sustainable economy?

In this session, speakers from various fields (researchers, scenario builders, NGOs, policy makers, youth organisation activists) will share knowledge and experience to demonstrate that not only are EU citizens showing signs of change when it comes to more ‘sufficient’ lifestyles, but that there is also an increasing amount of interest and expertise in how sufficiency can take a more important role in climate strategies. The session will target energy and environment specialists, policy makers, companies involved in developing lower impact products and services, citizen representative groups, NGOs and researchers.

The session will be chaired by Joanne Wade, Vice-president of European council for an energy efficient economy (eceee).


Vice-president of the European council for an energy efficiency economy (eceee)
Head of prospective analysis
négaWatt Association
Senior Researcher
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
Student in political and public communication - campaigner
Alternatiba Paris - ANV-Cop21
Member of the European Parliament, Greens, ITRE commission
European Parliament
Coordinator INFORSE-Europe