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EmpowerMed project presented in the ‘Making decarbonisations fair’ conference

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As part of the efforts to raise awareness about the gender dimensions of energy poverty in Europe, EmpowerMed was featured in the ‘Making decarbonisations fair’ conference last March 1st, 2021. Project partners Katharina Habersbrunner (Women Engage for a Common Future, WECF) and Sergio Tirado Herrero (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB) introduced the EmpowerMed gender and energy poverty factsheet and hosted an interactive online session on intersectional approaches to energy poverty alleviation with the more than 50 people that attended the session titled ‘Gender struggles: just approaches to energy poverty alleviation’. The discussion gathered participants’ recommendations for engaging with the four key stakeholders identified by the EmpowerMed project: national decision makers, health practitioners, social actors and utility companies. Participants highlighted, among other issues, the need for gender-disaggregated data at the sub-household level, male biases in energy poverty-related medical advice, and the dependency on social networks of women-led households indebted to utility providers.

The ‘Gender struggles’ session also provided in-depth presentations and commentaries by Dr Nthabiseng Mohlakoana (Stellenbosch University), Dr Carmen Sánchez Guevara (Technical University of Madrid), Dr Saska Petrova (University of Manchester) and Professor Joy Clancy (University of Twente). In their contributions, guest speakers critically addressed the ‘home’ as highly gendered space and as a critical scale for tackling inequalities that hinder a gender-just (energy) transition. They also called for gender-just approaches to addressing energy poverty through targeted and context-specific tools rather than generic policy instruments. All in all, the session contributed to raise awareness about the gender dimensions of energy poverty and transitions and to create opportunities for networking across the research, civil society and policy communities that attended the conference. It was co-hosted by Mariëlle Feenstra (University of Twente) and EmpowerMed researcher Sergio Tirado Herrero.

The ‘Making decarbonisations fair’ conference took place between March 1st and 4th and invited researchers, practitioners and policymakers to an interactive, four-day online knowledge exchange workshop focused on collaborative learning on questions relating to ensuring fairness in the transition to decarbonised energy and housing systems. It was co-organised by the UK’s Fuel Poverty Research Network, Portugal’s Defesa do consumidor (DECO) and Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research (CENSE -FCT NOVA), and the COST Action ENGAGER (European Energy Poverty: Agenda Co-Creation and Knowledge Innovation).

You can watch the video recording of the ‘Gender struggles: just approaches to energy poverty alleviation’ session here.