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Alliance against Energy Poverty, Cataluña

Standing up to human rights abuses by energy corporations through advocacy and mutual support

In Spain, energy poverty is a very real and punitive phenomenon, affecting around 5.1 million people or some 11% of the total population. In recent years, the Alliance against Energy Poverty (Alianza contra la Pobreza Energética - APE) has brought about a paradigm shift in Cataluña by bringing this issue to public attention. This alliance of energy poverty-affected people, social movements, local residents and NGOs is showing for the first time that energy poverty is much more than a question of whether or not families can afford to heat their homes. For APE, access to basic supplies such as energy and water is a fundamental human right.

Elektrizitätswerke Schönau, Germany

How mothers, teachers and doctors took over the power grid and energy supply

When the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl exploded in 1986, a cloud of radioactive gas spread over much of Europe, including a town in the South of Germany at the border of France and Switzerland. In Schönau, in the Black Forest, the event sparked a response that would evolve into a cooperative that supplies 170,000 citizens with electricity, committing itself wholly to the phasing out of nuclear energy worldwide.