Socio-Economic and environmental indicators: do they go hand in hand or back to back? A zoom into SDG7

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Carla Teotónio
Rita Martins
Micaela Antunes


The EU is succeeding in the achievement of climate and energy targets, but affordability of energy services cannot be left behind. The paper assesses the interlinkages between SDG 7’s social, economic and environmental dimensions to understand whether they go hand in hand or back to back. With Eurostat data for 27 countries for the share of households unable to keep homes warm, energy dependency and the share of renewables, we use correlations and scatter (for pairs) and the Venn diagram (for the combination of the three). Results show a diversity of synergistic or trade-off paths, making clear that the solutions to improve the progress in SDG 7 cannot be the same for all Member States and that even the most urgent measures in a domain should not compromise advancements in others. The micro affordability ratios computed and the share of households with affordability problems expose a greater extension of issues than those revealed by EU affordability indicator, confirming the relevance of looking at the problem from different lenses. Moreover, households with elder and living in more isolated areas are found especially prevalent among those with affordability problems. This should be accommodated in policy measures to support those most in need.

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How to Cite
Teotónio, C., Martins, R., & Antunes, M. (2023). Socio-Economic and environmental indicators: do they go hand in hand or back to back? A zoom into SDG7. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 38, 110–129.


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