In February, our readers in English decided our most interesting read was an interview with Zoran Obradović, managing director at wpd Adria. The other two articles on our Top 3 list for the month concerned coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans and an op-ed about air pollution in the region. A list is also available for our portal’s Serbian/local language version.
1 – Proper environmental impact assessment, cooperation with local community key for renewable energy projects
The interview with Zoran Obradović was informative in many ways, but in one way, it was unexpected from an investor’s point of view. The top man of the company that has built several wind farms in Croatia told us that if a local community is openly opposed to a project, “it is better to look for a different location than to force a project into a tense environment that will remain tense for as long the project lasts – for decades.”
2 – Western Balkan coal power plants are health, economic liability for entire Europe – environmental organizations
Sixteen outdated coal power plants in the Western Balkans are a public health and economic liability for the whole of Europe, with people in the EU bearing the majority of the health impacts and costs, according to a new report by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Sandbag, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network and Europe Beyond Coal. The EU needs to use all of the tools available to improve health, prolong lives, save health costs and increase productivity both in the EU and in the Western Balkan region, the environmental civil society organizations say.
3 – Balkan region maintaining record high air pollution, doesn’t tackle main sources
HEAL seemed to dominate our content in English in February, as the third top spot went to its Senior Policy Officer Vlatka Matkovic Puljić, who wrote an op-ed about air pollution in the region for Balkan Green Energy News.
“Yet another year, this winter, air pollution hits countries in the Balkan region hard – most of them for many consecutive days struggle with air pollution that is unhealthy to breathe. New World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that Macedonia has the highest premature death rate associated with air pollution in EU and Balkans combined, followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.”