HEAL urges regional leaders to implement Green Agenda for Western Balkans

green agenda western balkans heal sofia

Photo: Tagausbeuter from Pixabay


November 9, 2020






November 9, 2020





Non-profit organization Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) has urged heads of states of the Western Balkans to adopt and implement the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans in order to prevent ill health and move towards zero pollution.

The HEAL has sent them an open letter a day before the next Berlin process meeting scheduled for November 10 in Sofia.

The European Commission presented the guidelines for implementing the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans last month and announced that the Green Agenda, envisaged by the European Green Deal, is expected to be endorsed by the regional leaders at a summit in Sofia.

Greening the Western Balkans must be based on four principles

In a letter to leaders of the Western Balkan countries, HEAL said that from a health perspective, greening the Western Balkans and addressing the unacceptably high pollution in the region would bring many benefits, with reduced rates of cancer, heart and lung diseases, and improvement for children’s healthy development.

The countries in the region should adopt binding dates to phase out coal power generation and end public financing for all fossil fuels

The HEAL has called leaders of the region to base the greening process on the following principles and actions: a zero pollution conditionality for all measures and financing, commitment to update air quality standards in line with the World Health Organization recommendations, binding date to phase out coal power generation, and ending of the public financing for all fossil fuels.

Coal pollution from the region’s 16 outdated power plants is responsible for an estimated 3,900 premature deaths

A recent HEAL analysis demonstrated that coal pollution from the region’s sixteen outdated power plants is responsible for an estimated 3,900 premature deaths, 8,500 cases of bronchitis in children, and other chronic illnesses annually, leading to health costs of up to EUR 11.5 billion, the letter reads.

The organization also asked for the creation of the national inter-ministerial working groups of environment, health, and climate ministries to facilitate the implementation of the Green Agenda.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles


Right-wing victors in European election seek to scrap 2035 ban on combustion engines

11 June 2024 - The EPP leader has said the party will immediately push for scrapping the 2035 ban on internal combustion engines

Democracy Perception Index 2024 climate change europe survey

Europeans are now more worried about immigration than climate change – survey

10 May 2024 - The 2024 Democracy Perception Index is based on interviews with over 62,953 respondents from 53 countries


UK minister: G7 reaches ‘historic’ deal to abandon coal in first half of 2030s

30 April 2024 - An official statement on the G7 decarbonization commitments is due later today

China’s energy transition on track for carbon neutrality by 2060

24 April 2024 - China is making huge progress toward its goal of reducing net emissions to zero, Norwegian consulting firm DNV estimated in a report