The Think2030 Dialogue Sweden, held on 20 April 2023, gathered decision-makers and analysts from policy, business and research communities across Europe to debate the key sustainability issues at stake for EU policy. As part of this dialogue, IDDRI and Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3) organized a session titled “Energy transitions and the cost of living: how to strike the right balance between short term fixes and long-term solutions to the energy crisis?” and this report (Session Brief) summarizes the key take-aways from this session.
- The EU government’s responses to the energy crisis so far have been costly for public budgets and in many cases not efficient enough from a holistic perspective that combines economic, environmental and social contexts. This should lead to a revision towards more long-term action to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels in building and transport for households, once energy prices start to decline.
- The energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also a heritage of past policy decisions and existing socio-economic inequalities. It is important to tackle the underlying causes of households’ energy vulnerability and inequalities, rather than just fall back on energy subsidies or handing out compensations.
- Energy savings are key to more secure, sustainable and affordable energy for households and to the level achieved in 2022. Accelerating the uptake of building renovation, “clean mobility” and shifts to other modes of transport relies on an increase in available finance and support for skills and industrial capacities development.
- Material and energy efficiency should be central in the design of green industrial policies across Europe, as they have a strong potential to decrease supply-demand tensions on energy and resource markets and facilitate just access to affordable transport and energy services.