World Consumer Rights Day To Empower Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions
Every year on March 15 the consumer movement celebrates World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), raising global awareness of consumer rights, consumer protection and empowerment. Consumers International is proud and privileged to coordinate this day of global collaboration, with 200 consumer advocacy members in over 100 countries.
Today world leaders at COP27 in Egypt will focus on securing a just transition in the energy sector. In support of this we are delighted to announce our WCRD 2023 theme will be: Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions. Amidst the greatest cost-of-living crisis in a generation and as the energy world drastically responds to supply and climate issues, we have a core role to play in delivering a just transition for consumers.
We will build on the success of our campaign this year where 90+ Members carried out diverse campaigns to promote Fair Digital Finance, sharing our message with millions of consumers worldwide. We also brought together over 600 business, government, regulator and consumer advocacy participants at our Fair Digital Finance Forum - the largest ever consumer focussed dialogue on the issue.
Most economies are facing a deepening energy crisis globally which is having an especial untold impact on vulnerable consumers. Global energy prices are set to rise by 50% by the end of 2022 and will stay high in 2023. Together with food and finance price increases, consumers everywhere are radically changing their lifestyles to access essential needs. Indeed, in our latest Member insights survey over 80% reported that consumers are adjusting their budgets to pay their energy bills.
Increasing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy will also play a major part in averting catastrophic climate change, with consumption shifts now recognised and estimated to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions by 40-70%.
Every year we consult with our Members on what we should focus on for WCRD. Our consultation this year and our analysis of their activities on clean energy transitions demonstrated a firm commitment to impact this issue. This will both support consumers through the cost-of-living crisis and promote access to sustainable energy on a global scale.
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR MARCH 15?
The energy crisis is dramatically shifting the energy world, more governments are pledging to turn the crisis into a historic moment towards clean and secure energy systems. This presents us with a window of opportunity, to hold policymakers to their commitments and ensure the consumer voice does not get lost in them.
During WCRD 2023 and beyond our work on energy will see that consumers are recognised as core marketplace actors, not passive bystanders in the energy transition so they take action that catalyses clean energy use. To take action, consumers must be supported in the right way - this means bringing consumers into high-level discussions, ensuring policy is centred on consumer needs and good business practice, such as incentives for vulnerable consumers and providing reliable information.
Consumers International plays a unique part in bringing the consumer voice to international fora such as at COP, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Economic Forum and more. During the week of WCRD 2023 we will:
- Bring together senior energy leaders with consumer advocates in public dialogues asking tough questions to ensure a fair and inclusive consumer approach. We will share more details here over the next month.
- We will release a call from Consumer International Members, sharing their top asks to national policymakers and business as well as to global influencers. This will highlight the diverse nature of energy systems across their contexts but a unified global need for consumer-focussed solutions.
- On the day itself - Wednesday March 15 - the global consumer advocacy movement will unite in carrying out diverse activities, advocacy or innovations which support consumer access to clean energy.
OUR MEMBERS’ WORK TOWARDS A CLEAN JUST ENERGY TRANSITION
- FNAC Morocco advocates for self-generation, calling on the government to allow independent solar photovoltaic (PV) units to connect to the national grid.
- VINASTAS-Vietnam runs education programmes on energy efficiency and conservation.
- CAG India campaigns at a local level, calling for sustainable public transport in Chennai.
- Consumentenbond advises consumers on how to properly insulate their homes in the Netherlands.
- Consumer Council of Zimbabwe have been establishing women’s consumer clubs to support collective purchasing of solar energy technologies.
- SEWA Nepal utilises carbon credit programmes to provide sustainable electricity provision to the urban poor.
- The Saudi Consumer Protection Association advocates for the right to redress in cases of electricity cuts and power outages.
- Which? provides important information for consumers on 'The Truth about Green Energy Bills' in the UK, examining green claims made by energy providers.
- El Poder campaigns for efficient transport and air quality in Mexico.
We invite all marketplace stakeholders to celebrate WCRD and collaborate with us to empower consumers through clean energy transitions:
- Express interest to join our high-level discussion as a speaker or co-partner with us on an event. Contact Oli Bealby-Wright.
- You do not need to be a Member of Consumers International to run a campaign in support of the day. Share your ideas and connect via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram for all the latest news and announcements on World Consumer Rights Day 2023.
- Read about our recent work on Energy here.
For any questions, please contact email@example.com.