About 40 civil society organisations from throughout Croatia and international organisations, including Friends of the Earth International, Bankwatch and Justice and Environment, have sent letters to Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Suma Chakrabarti, appealing that they abandon the plan for the construction of a harmful and expensive hydroelectric power plant on the Ombla river in the Dubrovnik area of southern Croatia.
The Kolubara mining basin covers 600 square kilometres, producing 30 million tonnes of lignite and more than 50 percent of Serbia's electricity annually. While government and international investors claim Kolubara is crucial to Serbia's energy security, critics said expansion has come at heavy social and environmental cost.
Despite having a slew of good reasons not to support the damaging Ombla hydropower plan in Croatia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development still didn't confirm during recent meetings that it would withdraw from the project.
Campaigner in Serbian Bankwatch member group CEKOR
May 13, 2013
People from the Kolubara mine basin in Serbia have many stories to tell about the hardships they face due to the lignite mining operations. Serbian Bankwatcher Nikola Perusic adds his account to two stories in the guardian and in Bankwatch Mail 56.
Istanbul – With the 2013 EBRD annual meetings underway and in spite of repeated commitments to sustainability, the bank is set to continue financing coal projects that will dangerously aggravate climate change.
The findings of a recent report entitled ‘The unpaid health bill: How coal power plants make us sick’, released by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), detail the health impacts of existing coal in Europe and quantify the associated costs of mortality and chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease due to coal pollution.
Yesterday, Green Action/Zelena Akcija, Greenpeace and Green Istria staged a spooky public action to raise attention for the findings of a new study that predicts approximately 17 early deaths annually due to the planned new 500 MW unit at the Plomin coal power plant in Croatia.
The EBRD’s new country strategy for Kosovo, announced by the bank on May 3 after Bankwatch Mail Issue 56 went to press, has confirmed what NGOs and others had feared in the consultation process for the EBRD’s first strategy in its new country of operation: that financial support for a new major lignite power plant is very much on the EBRD’s radar, despite evidence that Kosovo does not need such a power plant as well as the potential undermining of EU climate goals.