Bratislava, 8 November: The environmental organisation Greenpeace Slovakia has launched a public petition "For a winter without cold & hunger", which asks the government for an immediate solution and mitigations of the energy crisis. The environmental organisation believes that targeted and effective financial aid to the most vulnerable households, investment in the use of renewable energy sources and the renovation of buildings, along with a reduction in gas demand would help alleviate the crisis.
Greenpeace activists have launched an online petition in front of the government office, demanding the government to take action to address the ongoing energy crisis. On the occasion, environmentalists presented a painting (2 x 1.4m) made by a Bratislava-based artist that they handed-over to Prime Minister Eduard Heger. The painting depicts the desperate situation in which many households may find themselves this winter if the government continues to remain inactive. The painting is a reminder to the PM that high energy prices, poor investment in renewables and energy efficiency are pushing households deeper into fuel poverty.
"The situation of high electricity and heating bills has never been more serious and needs to be addressed immediately. From the start of the new regulatory period, many households may find themselves in a situation where they have to choose between providing the basic necessities of life or heating their homes. People in Slovakia cannot be faced with a choice between hunger and cold," said Dorota Osvaldová, Climate Campaign Coordinator.
Greenpeace calls for targeted financial assistance for vulnerable households, increased investment in building renovation and the use of renewable energy sources. The organisation also calls for subsidies for the renovation of buildings and for renewable energy investments to cover up to 100 % of the necessary upfront investment for the most vulnerable households. Other demands include simplification of bureaucratic processes, a stop to new gas infrastructure and a phase-out of fossil gas by 2035.
"Despite the fact that the energy situation has been critical for some months now, the government has still not prepared targeted help for people who can be brought to their knees by the high price of electricity, heat and high inflation. We see no ambition whatsoever to tackle the root cause of this crisis, which is Slovakia’s dependence on expensive gas that is fuelling these problems. We simply need energy systems that are local, secure and guarantee energy and heat for all. We can achieve this through the renovation of buildings, which will reduce energy consumption, and through the development of the use of renewable sources. The bonus is that these are also solutions to the climate crisis. The public demand is clear, the only thing missing is political will," added Greenpeace Slovakia Director Katarína Juríková.
People can sign the public appeal to the government "For a winter without cold & hunger" and support solutions to the energy crisis at www.zazimubezchladu.sk.