More than 50 million Europeans are today affected by energy poverty, a number that is likely to increase due to a combination of higher energy, transport and food prices due to the current energy market crisis caused by Russian's war in Ukraine and the foreseen extension of ETS to transport and buildings. Energy poverty, in the sense of the inability to attain a socially and materially necessitated level of domestic energy services, is due to three main factors: poor energy performance of buildings, high energy prices and low incomes.
Women and women-led households appear to be disproportionately affected by energy poverty due to structural inequalities in income distribution, socioeconomic status and the gender care gap. In January 2022, the European Committee of the Region adopted an opinion on Gender equality on Climate change, underlining the need to tackle energy poverty by the use of various public policy instruments at all levels of governance. In the current context of the energy crisis, REPowerEU Plan – the joint European action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy presented on the 18th of May – cannot be gender-blind.
This Covenant of Mayors webinar will provide examples of good practices notably from the EmpowerMed project of alleviating energy poverty and collecting gender-disaggregated data at local level.