Cold weather protest: campaigners want more help with winter heating

With winter on its way and rising fuel bills protesters in Wales want to see more help for the most vulnerable in our society.

All those who participated in the protest were wearing yellow clothes or holding yellow signs.

Protesters in Wales have launched a campaign calling on the government to take urgent action to keep vulnerable people warm this winter.

Climate Cymru’s took their The Warm this Winter in Wales campaign to the Senedd last week. They called on the Welsh government to deliver energy support and to improve energy efficiency across the country.

“The cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on all sectors of the community in Wales,” said Jennie Weaver, communications coordinator for Climate Cymru. “That is why one of our demands is for emergency support for vulnerable groups in Wales as we know many people face making impossible choices this winter.”

Energy crisis puts poor and vulnerable households under more heating stress in winter.

Inflation has soared to its highest level in 30 years since April 2022, energy bills have become unaffordable for many low-income and disadvantaged households, and millions are driven into fuel poverty.

The UK government subsidizes fossil fuel companies by around 90% to encourage the expansion of oil and gas in the North Sea amidst the cost of living and climate emergency, Climate Cymru believes this is not a wise move and the government is not using any meaningful means to address the root of the problem.

Climate Cymru organizes a petition to urge the Welsh government end local coal mining and expansion and not issue any further extended gas and oil licenses, and hope UK government to ensure Wales receives a fair share of funding as needed, as Welsh households are the most affected by the energy crisis, and a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to help poor families in need.

A briefing from Climate Cymru has learned that 60.8% of Welsh households will be fuel poor by January 2023, up from 14% in October 2021.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy a warm and safe home,” said Ben Saltmarsh, Head of Wales at National Energy Action.

People prefer that the government would tax fuel companies more when energy prices rise.

Climate Cymru wanted to see details of the Welsh Government’s recently announced Winter Fuel campaign, which will show people where to go for support in the region.  The petitioners believe the Welsh government should also join the lobbying of the UK government.

“We have had a positive response to the initial launch of the campaign, there is cross-party support from Welsh Government,” said Jennie. “The petition will run into early 2023 and so at this stage the main focus is to ensure as many signatures as possible on the petition.”