Environment

Prishtina mayor announces measures to cut air pollution by 95%

Prishtina mayor cut air pollution 95

Photo: Perparim Rama / Facebook

Published

May 11, 2022

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Published:

May 11, 2022

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Prishtina’s new Mayor Përparim Rama said subsidies are planned for the replacement of stoves and boilers in households with cleaner solutions, that transportation infrastructure would be improved and that electric scooters and bikes would be introduced for citizens to use. He claims the measures would cut air pollution by 95%.

There are several major sources of air pollution in Prishtina, from coal-fired power plants to traffic, according to Përparim Rama. The new mayor told BB Green Kosova that the World Bank singled out wood and coal burning in inadequate stoves and boilers as the biggest factor, adding that the fuel is often not dry enough, which exacerbates the issue.

Prishtina will develop its transportation infrastructure to tackle traffic jams and it will introduce electric scooters and bikes for citizens, Rama said. The local authority is in talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on procuring public buses, as well as electric buses to operate in the central part of the city, he asserted.

The coal and wood that citizens use for heating often isn’t dry enough, which significantly increases air pollution

Kosovo’s capital is also negotiating with the World Bank on a planned program for the replacement of old stoves and boilers with cleaner solutions, but the city and the Government of Kosovo* would first need to make a tripartite agreement with the international financial institution, Rama pointed out. He claimed that all the combination of the said measures can reduce air pollution by up to 95% in total.

The mayor stressed that the construction of schools in new districts would prevent citizens from having to drive their children to remote educational institutions, which increases traffic jams and pollution.

The city authority is negotiating with the World Bank on a subsidy program for the replacement of old stoves and boilers

Rama won the local election with a program that leaned to a great extent on sustainable development and environmental protection. At the time, he promised poorer citizens they would have priority in the distribution of funds for the replacement of heating devices and that subsidies would also be available for the energy makeovers of homes. The mayor intends to double the capacity of the district heating network to 280 MW in four years.

Taxi Tesla recently launched operations in Prishtina with a fleet of 40 Tesla electric vehicles.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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