Environment

NGOs ask China to shift investment focus to green energy

Published

May 5, 2016

Country

Comments

0

Share

Published:

May 5, 2016

Country:

Comments:

0

Share

Electric power projects with lignite in Southeastern Europe pose a significant threat to European Union’s climate and energy goals that countries of the region should be fulfilling on their path to accession, an association of environmentalist groups said. China, along with 177 other countries of the world, has signed the Paris Agreement last month, but it is still developing facilities in the region in contradiction to its commitment, as it is currently the biggest investor in lignite, the report said.

„The cost to health caused by the existing coal plants in five Western Balkan countries amounts up to EUR 8.5 billion annually, causing 7,181 premature deaths per year in Europe. New plants would create additional health costs up to EUR 203 million per year in the Western Balkans, and up to EUR 528 million per year in Europe. In addition to that, around one fifth of all energy in the region is wasted, lost or stolen,“ the press release adds.

So far two financing deals have been signed by Chinese banks for lignite power plants in the region. Stanari is funded by China Development Bank with EUR 560 million, while Kostolac B3 project has secured EUR 620 million from China Exim Bank. An annex of the contract regarding the building of Block 7 of thermal power plant Tuzla, a project worth EUR 730 million, was signed on May 4 at the Sarajevo Business Forum. It is considered the biggest post-war investment in the energy sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Other potential projects where China’s support has been announced include Banovići, Ugljevik 3 and Gacko 2 in BiH. The investments exceed an overall EUR 3.4 billion. Projects proposed for funding also exist in Croatia, Kosovo and Montenegro, but are facing resistance, according to the statement. It was signed by SEE Change Net Foundation, Center for Environment, Center for Ecology and Energy, Ekotim, and CPI Foundation, all from BiH, and Cekor from Serbia.

“China should do what other big financing institutions, banks and trust funds have been doing for the last two years – ban loans for coal, that the taxpayers will be returning, and instead focus on investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and job opportunities. We call on the China Development Bank and ExIm bank to help us get on the European pathway, improve the health of our citizens and the quality of our environment, as well as to share their great experience in wind and solar energy,” stated Igor Kalaba, coordinator at the Center for Environment.

“We want to warn our politicians and foreign investors that instead of development they are ready to boast about, they are actually about to lock this region into a destructive path by attracting investment in thermal power plants that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide,“ said Nataša Đereg, director of Cekor.

 

Related Articles

EU agrees fossil fuel car ban as climate package talks are starting

EU agrees fossil fuel car ban as climate package talks are starting

29 June 2022 - The Council of the EU and European Parliament are set for talks on the Fit-for-55 package. Both agree new combustion engines should be banned by 2035.

Eriola Bibolli General Manager ProCredit Bank Kosovo

ProCredit Bank Kosovo – a driver of green finance and energy transition in the country

24 June 2022 - Author: Eriola Bibolli, General Manager, ProCredit Bank Kosova  It is a well-known fact that climate...

Pollution coal plants Western Balkans extreme 2021

Pollution from coal plants in Western Balkans remains extreme in 2021

22 June 2022 - Coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans were in breach of Energy Community pollution rules in 2021 for the fourth year in a row.

Environmentalists reusable refillable packaging biggest plastic polluters

Environmentalists demand reusable, refillable packaging from biggest plastic polluters

17 June 2022 - Over 400 organizations demand that the five biggest plastic polluters commit to transparent, ambitious and accountable reuse and refill systems