Who: Milton Catelin, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association
"Over the past few years Europeans have seen their energy costs locked into an upward spiral, deteriorating the competitiveness of European businesses and putting more households at risk of energy poverty.
Across Europe, average electricity prices for households and industries have increased by 29% between 2005 and 2011. Over the same period of time electricity prices in the USA increased by only 5% and in Japan by 1%.
In the UK household electricity prices jumped even higher – we’re seeing an increase of over 80% since 2005. This was paralleled by an unprecedented surge in the number of households affected by energy poverty in the UK, from 2 million to 5 million.
Europe has allowed the problem of energy poverty to grow out of proportion as many households struggle to pay their energy bills or are unable to maintain sufficient level of heating during winter. Today between 50 and 125 million people are affected by energy poverty in Europe. In Bulgaria, Portugal, Lithuania, Romania, Cyprus, Latvia and Malta over 30% of people are unable to keep their homes warm and face disproportionately high energy bills. Meanwhile over 20% of people living in Greece, Poland, Italy, Hungary and Spain face the same challenges."(1)
THE CASE FOR A #FREEBRITAIN
"Five years ago the EU was given the explicit right to pass laws affecting energy markets. Unfortunately the evidence suggests that the EU has not used these powers well. There is mounting evidence that the EU’s energy policy has created real problems for Britain’s manufacturing sector. Poorly designed policy and unrealistic targets have conspired to help push up energy bills. Rising EU regulatory costs have played a role in driving the closure of Britain’s industrial capacity. The status quo is, quite simply, untenable.
I want British business to have cheap energy so they can succeed; I don’t want ridiculously high prices putting people off starting up small businesses, nor do I want already struggling families paying high energy prices due to disastrous policies from the EU."
Steven Woolfe MEP