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di YAMINA SAHEB / Lead-Author of IPCC AR6

Energy poverty has recently gained wider attention as a priority policy issue at the EU and national levels.

However, the focus of the debate and the actions to alleviate energy poverty relate mainly to ensure European homes are well heated in the winter season. Keeping homes cool in summer is not yet in the political agenda despite the visible effects of heatwaves on the health of low-income EU citizens. Similarly, transport energy poverty is overlooked and its impacts on increasing socio-economic isolation of low-income citizens is yet to be considered and tackled.

Energy poverty is recognised as a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon at the crossroads of several scientific disciplines and policy areas. Low-income households, especially those living in peri-urban and rural areas, are at a considerable risk of facing both domestic and transport energy poverty. Domestic energy poverty increases the risk of long-standing health problems which may lead to premature deaths.

Transport energy poverty increases the risk of socio-economic exclusion, especially in the case of elderly and/or disabled people who cannot drive, use public transport, walk and/or bike to meet their basic socio-economic needs such as work, leisure, health and education. Importantly, the transport/domestic energy poverty nexus hinders the right of European Citizens to access energy services and transport, which are demanded by Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights
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