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Human rights defenders clampdown in Azerbaijan - letter to Commissioner Fule asking to support civil society

The letter asks EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Stefan Fule to put pressure on the Azeri authorities and support and protect civil society that faces an escalating suppression. Last week more than 20 NGOs were confronted with sanctions that included freezing bank accounts and seizing personal accounts of NGO executives and others. This is a continuation of the government’s on-going harassment campaign against human rights defenders that uses tactics like police summons, arrests, propaganda, and slandering and threating organisations with closure.

EBRD in Serbia: Don't use floods to prop up coal

The EBRD should stick to its newly approved Energy Strategy and reject any investments in the Serbian coal sector, argue a group of 7 international NGOs in a letter sent to the bank’s board of directors today. The groups were concerned with recent statements by the EBRD according to which the bank’s regional flood response in the Balkans could include “rehabilitation of (…) damaged power stations and transmission and distribution networks.”

Letter: EBRD flood response in Serbia should diversify away from lignite

This letter, co-signed by Serbian, regional and international NGOs and sent to the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ask whether in the aftermath of the recent floods in the western Balkans, the EBRD's response will prop up Serbia's coal sector or whether it will ensure that its post-flood assistance is used for much needed residential energy efficiency improvements and sustainable renewable energy.

Big dams, big damage, and little benefit: Georgia’s hydropower plans

Source: , Green by Blue

Are Georgia’s hydropower plans really the road to prosperity?

Serbian government props up almighty coal

A new report by the Belgrade-based NGO CRTA shows that the Serbian government is supporting the Kostolac coal power plant and mines with loan guarantees and potentially VAT exemptions. Propping up the already dominant coal sector, however, will likely further increase Serbia’s vulnerability to extreme weather events. Increasing Serbia's energy efficiency and renewables generation would be the wiser choice.


State support to the Kostolac coal power plant and mining basin in Serbia

This report by the Belgrade-based Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability - CRTA shows that the Serbian government is supporting the Kostolac coal power plant and mines with loan guarantees and potentially VAT exemptions.

Massive EU gas investment a mistake

Source: , EU Observer

Friday's (27 June) gathering of EU ministers is the second time this month to discuss, among other things, Europe’s supply of natural gas.

Corruption serious barrier to sustainable energy system in southeast Europe, says new report

June 24, Brussels, Belgium - High-level corruption in the energy sector is affecting countries in South Eastern Europe, with tens of millions of euros being lost over the last decades in seven countries from the region surveyed in the study Winners and Losers: Who Benefits from High Level Corruption in the South East Europe Energy Sector? launched today in Brussels during the High Level Policy Conference of EU Sustainable Energy Week 2014.

Winners and losers - Who benefits from high-level corruption in the South East Europe energy sector

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Energy is one of the biggest economic sectors in south-eastern Europe and is set to grow even further with the region moving closer to the EU. The region has high potential for energy efficiency and sustainable renewable energy investments. Yet, as this study illustrates with a number of examples, countries have shown little ability to absorb investments at a large scale without systemic corruption and patronage.

See also an interactive map with summaries for each case at http://bankwatch.org/SEE-energy-corruption

Azeri gas not such a good idea for EU, say NGOs

Source: Marie-Martine Buckens, europolitics

The EU’s plans to import gas via gas pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) are not only contrary to its long-term climate objectives but also unjustified in the context of the European Commission's predictions in terms of energy demand.

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