While energy companies have reaped record profits from rising prices, up to 141 million more people around the world have fallen into extreme poverty because of it, a study has found.
The cost of energy for households globally could have increased by between 62.6% and 112.9% since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a modelling study by an international group of scientists published in Nature Energy.
Researchers estimated that overall household expenditure rose by between 2.7% and 4.8%. As a result, they estimate that an additional 78–141 million people worldwide could be pushed into extreme poverty.
Yuli Shan, a professor at the University of Birmingham, said: “High energy prices hit household finances in two ways: fuel price rises directly increase household energy bills, while energy inputs needed to produce goods and services push prices up for those products as well, and especially for food, which affects households indirectly. Unaffordable costs of energy and other necessities will push vulnerable populations into energy poverty and even extreme poverty.”
Klaus Hubacek of the University of Groningen, said: “This crisis is worsening energy poverty and extreme poverty worldwide. For poor countries, living costs undermine their hard-won gains in energy access and poverty alleviation. "