The unprecedented economic crisis has the potential to provide a significant boost to the environment. Today, investing in a green economy and green jobs is seen as one of the top priorities for moving beyond the crisis. This unique window of political opportunity for the promotion of green investments should not be missed - and how European public money is to be used to get us out of these economic straits is on the line next week.
The Civic Alliance for the Protection of the Vlora Bay, a local Albanian initiative group, continued on Sunday to press for a referendum on an oil deposit and a thermo-power plant being constructed north of the town of Vlora on Albania's Adriatic coast.
Close to 3000 residents of Vlora, an Albanian city on the Adriatic coast, greeted the visit of representatives of the World Banks Inspection Panel with a clear plea - end World Bank credits for the EUR 110m thermal power plant that is part of a huge energy park development threatening the sensitive Vlora bay.
The Civic Alliance for Protection of the Vlora Bay together with the Vlora Student Movement is now in the eighth day of protesting against construction of the Vlora thermo-power plant and a hydrocarbons terminal on a beach on the outskirts of the Albanian city located on the Adriatic coast. On December 25 a group of 30 people blocked the access road to the construction sites thus preventing further progress on both sites. Four days later, 10 protesters were arrested, including Eneid Hamzaj, the leader of the Vlora Student Movement.
Bankwatch staff members have just returned from an invigorating and productive meeting with environmental and human rights groups from 14 countries aimed at developing responses to the rash of oil pipeline projects being proposed in South East Europe to bring Russian and Caspian oil to Europe and the US.