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Eighty hectares of forest still standing in the lignite county of Gorj, court rules

Bucharest - Another environmental permit for the deforestation of 80 hectares of forest has been cancelled by a Bucharest court, following a Bankwatch Romania petition. The decision curtails plans to expand a lignite quarry in the Gorj county.

Balkan coal rush risks lasting damage, campaigners warn

Source: James Crisp, EurActiv

Balkan countries and Ukraine are making "substantial investments" in polluting coal power stations to sell cheap electricity to the European Union, as the bloc searches for new suppliers to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

EU officials appear reluctant to use energy negotiations next month, or trade law, to force higher air pollution and environmental standards, despite the risks the rush poses to EU climate change and enlargement policies, and to finances and public health in the Balkans.

Pressure mounts on EBRD to quit Macedonian dam folly

Macedonia's Mavrovo national park is the largest and richest national park in the country and home to the critically endangered Balkan Lynx. The Macedonian government, however, has plans to also make Mavrovo the home for two large and around 20 small hydro power plants. Could the EBRD cancel its involvement in one of the projects?

Where will all that power go? New study assesses extravagant energy ambitions in the western Balkans

Western Balkan countries have ambitious plans to increase their electricity generation over the next years. But what will happen if they all become a regional energy hub? Will there be a demand for all the available electricity?

EBRD digs in deeper with Serbian coal king

Earlier this year, Serbian media reported that the EBRD was considering providing a new EUR 200 million loan for the financial restructuring of the state-owned electric utility power company of Serbia, EPS. The EBRD Director for Serbia, Mateo Patrone, was quoted by B92.net saying that the loan is aimed at helping the financial restructuring of EPS. Meanwhile, the EBRD's country strategy for Serbia, approved by its board of directors last April, highlights the bank's “key role in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy” for the country.

Ohrid - Peshtani expressway project, Macedonia

The project involves the construction of a new section between Ohrid and Pestani on the A3 express ‘Kosel’ to the Albanian border crossing at Ljubanishta. The new 12.5 kilometre section is at a higher elevation than the existing coastal road and towns and will pass through the Galicica National Park. This projects is part of a sovereign guaranteed loan of up to EUR 160 million.

Boskov Most hydropower plant project

Following earlier publications about the Boskov Most project’s irreversible impact on nature, this paper provides an overview of the most recent developments concerning the planned HPPs in the Mavrovo national park.

Battles against cyanide continue in Romania

After the epic battle against the Rosia Montana gold mine in Romania ended in success, many people still don't know that Romania and other countries in the region such as Bulgaria are still threatened by several gold mining proposals, some of which would involve the use of cyanide leaching.


Guest post: Ombla must be protected, not flooded!

The project promoter of the Ombla hydropower plant in Dubrovnik, Croatia is still stubbornly pushing the project forward. A presentation yesterday of a new nature impact assessment did not offer answers to a range of outstanding questions, including the project's economic feasibility, impacts on locals and more.


Unpaid coal bill: Romanian coal exports to Serbia marred by corruption

A dodgy deal to export coal from Romania to Serbia has left the Romanian state-owned coal supplier with a potential seven million euros write-off.


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