World Consumer Rights Day unites a powerful coalition for just energy transitions
Last week consumer advocates, partners and energy experts galvanized for World Consumer Rights Day around the theme, Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions. Coming together, our global effort will both support consumers through the cost-of-living crisis and help to meet net zero goals. Here, we share a few ways Members marked the day, insights from our Clean Energy Conference and what we plan to do next!
Clean Energy Conference brings leaders together for consumer-powered dialogue
From Monday – Friday our Clean Energy Conference: Empowering Consumers Through the Transition united a powerful coalition of actors from across consumer advocacy, government, international organisations, business and the energy world to explore the tools, legislation, innovation and approach we need to empower consumers and ensure a just transition. Watch here.
High-level speakers included those from the European Commission, World Energy Council, Consumer Reports, Electrobas, the International Energy Agenda, EnelX, UNCTAD, Which?, World Economic Forum, GSMA, CLASP, REES Africa, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and senior officials from UAE, US, Indian and German governments. We pinpointed how to advance consumer protection and empowerment in energy transitions with them and the 350+ attendees who joined us across the week.
We released our latest research, Consumer protection and empowerment for a clean energy future which calls for aligned consumer and energy policy, support to business models which protect consumers by design and the scale up of consumer-focussed data. This set the scene for the week and leaders from the European Commissioner on Energy, OECD, Signify and World Energy Council and others commended the paper.
We honed in on themes including innovative business models, driving forward essential access to energy in low- and middle-income countries, and with officials from UAE, US, Indian and German governments we explored the consumer policy we need for a just transition.
On World Consumer Rights Day itself – Wednesday 15 March - consumer advocates from CAG (India), Consumer Foundation (Thailand), ODECU (Chile), and Hong Kong Consumer Council shared the challenges facing consumers across their different contexts and solutions. Partners such as World Energy Council announced how they will collaborate with Consumers International and Members to deliver a just transition.
How did Members celebrate on March 15?
Starting the day, Members in Australia ran information campaigns, the Consumer Council of Fiji brought together consumers with policymakers and national energy suppliers for discussions, in Malaysia, FOMCA addressed residents on national television whilst in India Members and others participated in the government supported programme to promote clean energy, ‘LiFE’ Lifestyle for Environment.
In the Middle East and North Africa region, the Yemen Association for Consumer Protection partnered with the Ministry of Electricity and Energy for strategic dialogue events, and in Algeria, Alert Center took its message to television.
InfoCons in Romania ran a behavioural change campaign. They placed posters across 25,000 locations and worked with the Ministry of Energy to reach schoolchildren. The Danish Consumer Council depicted consumer challenges faced in the clean energy journey through a social media campaign and they published insights on consumer trust in energy providers.
In Latin America, IDEC (Brazil) made a call for increased regulation on harmful advertising, FOJUCC (Chile) raised awareness on clean energy transitions across social and traditional media, and in Mexico, Tec-Check launched an investigation into companies with high consumer complaints.
Consumer Reports in the USA called for the Senate Environment and Public Works committee to develop a federal Clean Fuel Standard and Consumers Council of Canada placed articles across its website and magazines on the importance of clean energy transitions.
Every year we are inspired by our Members' and partners' efforts, dedication and innovation to reach consumers and key actors that need to protect them – thank you for building with us.
We will build on the ideas, approach and commitments we heard throughout 2023 as we influence discussions at the OECD, during government, business and academic dialogue and at UNCTAD's IGE session this July. Keep an eye on our social media on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as we share more.