The war in Ukraine has shown the fragility of the European energy system and its overreliance on fossil fuels. While the war has made energy politics frontline news, the legislative train of the European Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package continued to move ahead. In 2022 we campaigned to accelerate the transition to a just, efficient, clean, democratic energy system of the future – including massive investment in renovations and an end to support for fossil gas.

Despite political rhetoric on energy security, EU member states keep trying to water down key legislation that could bring energy prices down for households, like the energy performance of buildings directive
Colin Roche, Climate and Energy coordinator in Euractiv
Protesting the gas industry’s corporate influence, outside the Eurogas Annual Conference, Brussels. © FoE Europe / Philip Reynaers/ Photonews

Energy poverty at the center of the EU agenda

The energy price crisis made the challenge to deliver long-term strategies for eradicating energy poverty ever more pressing. We worked together with our Right to Energy allies to put together the largest civil society response to the gas price crisis demanding immediate measures to shield vulnerable households from skyrocketing energy prices this winter, but also stressing the need for structural solutions. The Right to Energy Forum attracted over 1 800 attendees who debated real energy solutions for climate and people.

Those who will be in the toughest spot to pay their energy bills will inevitably be the most vulnerable. At best, spending a disproportionate amount of income on utilities can cause severe mental anguish, but it can also lead to people self-disconnecting from meters in some countries like the U.K. — and putting themselves in danger of freezing to death.
Kieran Pradeep, energy poverty campaigner in Politico
Raising awareness for the Right to Energy, outside the European Commission, Brussels, International Energy Poverty Action Week. © FoE Europe / Philip Reynaers / Photonews

Renovating Europe

Through the year, we kept advocating to ensure the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings directives provides a long-term solution to tackle one of the most significant causes of energy poverty: inadequate and unsafe housing. Ahead of the European Council General Approach, we called on the EU to protect the most vulnerable households from unaffordable energy prices taking the opportunity the EPBD provides to create sustainable, warm, and energy efficient homes for everyone in Europe.

”While emergency action was needed we cannot allow short sighted measures to lock us in policies that will not help us in the long term. With the proposed energy efficiency rules for buildings ministers had missed a golden opportunity to match our climate goals with tackling the energy crisis.”
Laia Segura energy justice campaigner said in the Financial Times
© Serena Gravili for FoE Europe

LNG: The liquid path to climate chaos

Our report “LNG: The liquid path to climate chaos” reacted to the changing narratives around energy security and reliance on Russian gas imports. The report equipped the climate movement with facts, figures and key arguments to confront the gas industry’s and governments’ narratives around energy security and the assumed need for massive LNG expansion. It also helped co-creating a narrative across the movement, making our collective response stronger and more coherent. The report has been translated to 8 languages.

The challenge is that to make these terminals economically viable, countries have to agree to very long contracts to bring in the gas and the terminals themselves can last up to 40 years, which means a very long lock-in effect for these fossil fuels that we are trying to get out of.”
Eilidh Robb fossil fuel campaigner spoke to the BBC about LNG expansion
LNG: The liquid path to climate chaos. © FoE Europe / Food & Water Action Europe

Empowering Community energy ambassadors

Our training course for community energy ambassadors from across Europe was, once again, a great success.We reached many existing energy communities across Europe and inspired a growing number of people to get involved. Ambassadors from 14 countries gained tools and knowledge to work on community energy policy in their respective countries – including how to build community energy projects directly themselves. The course helped strengthen the Community Power coalition directly by engaging its members in the delivery.

© FoE Europe

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