Bulgaria is facing some of the most severe energy poverty risks in the EU. Skyrocketing energy prices and high inflation rates that began already before the Russian invasion in Ukraine have starkly demonstrated the detrimental impact from the slow pace of the energy transition and the excessive fossil energy intensity of the Bulgarian economy. At the same time, Kremlin-linked disinformation narratives that blame the high energy prices on the European Green Deal aim to undermine the country’s political stability and to delay the country’s long-term decarbonisation policy, ultimately keeping Bulgaria in the current socio-economic, political and energy path-dependencies.
The introduction of a carbon price, the cornerstone of the EU's decarbonisation policies, combined with well-implemented policies to redistribute the revenues from this mechanism, could contribute to improving the welfare of the poorest 50% of Bulgarian households, reducing energy poverty and social inequality in the country.
These are some of the main conclusions of а CSD analysis, presented on 15 March during the roundtable on "Overcoming Energy Poverty and Decarbonising the Bulgarian Economy". In addition to CSD experts, prominent national energy and climate experts joined the discussion, includingTeodora Peneva, the Deputy Chair of the Energy Efficiency and Energy Poverty Committee of the Consultative Council for the European Green Deal at the Council of Ministers and Tsvetelina Gerasimova, who is the Deputy Director General of the Directorate General "Social Assistance" at the Agency for Social Assistance.