Energy crisis could worsen poverty for millions of Europeans

(EurActiv, 22 Nov 2021) Energy prices have skyrocketed in the past months, increasing the concern that millions of Europeans will have to choose between paying their bills and putting food on the table this winter.

“Unfortunately, the vulnerable will be made to pay the price for the volatility of our fossil fuel energy system,” said Martha Myers from Friends of the Earth, an environmental NGO.

“It is a tragedy that in one of the richest continents in the world, one in four European households and more this winter are having to make the decision between heating their homes and having food on the table,” she told EURACTIV.

Around 31 million Europeans were living in energy poverty and were unable to keep their homes adequately warm, according to Eurostat figures cited by the European Commission in its 2021 State of the Energy Union report.

However, many say that number may be underestimated because there is no common definition of energy poverty across Europe, which makes it difficult to evaluate the extent of the problem.

For instance, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre calculated in 2019 that 50 million people were living in energy poverty – almost 20 million more than the EU’s latest estimates.

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EurActiv, 22 Nov 2021: Energy crisis could worsen poverty for millions of Europeans