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Western Balkans countries invest at least 2.4 times as much in coal as in wind power

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All the Western Balkans countries have committed to increase their share of renewable energy by 2020 to reach between 25 and 40 percent of their energy mix, as part of their obligations under the Energy Community Treaty. Yet this is far from obvious when examining their investment plans for new power generation capacity. Governments are actively planning to build 2800 MW of new coal plants with construction cost of at least EUR 4.5 billion. In contrast, these countries are only planning to build around 1166 MW of wind power plants, at an estimated cost of EUR 1.89 billion.

Western Balkan countries invest more than twice as much in coal as in wind power: new Bankwatch analysis

Western Balkan countries are planning investments in wind power, but these are being heavily outweighed by their investments in coal plants, according to a CEE Bankwatch Network analysis launched today. The region’s governments are actively planning 2800 MW of new coal plants but allowing only around 1166 MW of wind power plants to be built.

Eight arrested in protest against Georgian dam

Protests against large dams in Georgia's Svaneti mountains have led to confrontations with police. Locals are losing patience over the protracted consultation process on the project.


Happy birthday, Khadija!

A graffiti in Warsaw marks the upcoming birthday of imprisoned Azeri journalist Khadija Ismayilova.


Time for Europe to stop supporting Ukraine's risky nuclear power sector

Three decades after Chernobyl, nuclear power remains a mainstay of Ukrainian energy supply. Despite persistent safety problems, the Ukrainian government has approved lifetime extensions for four of its 15 nuclear units since 2010, and two more could be greenlighted later this year. What is more, Ukraine’s nuclear sector survives in part thanks to European support. The EU needs to stop supporting Kiev’s risky nuclear energy programme.


No security for Europe from the Southern Gas Corridor

With an ownership structure heavily influenced by Azerbaijan, the European Commission’s flagship energy project may end up being a costly piece of infrastructure that does not increase Europe’s energy security but offers a tool for political leverage to the authoritarian Aliyev regime.


Ohrid - Peshtani expressway project, Macedonia

The Ohrid-Peshtani expressway project - financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development via a EUR 160 million loan for the National Roads Programme - involves the construction of a new section on the A3 express to the Albanian border. The new 12.5 kilometre section is planned to pass through the Galicica national park - a rare and important natural site with
abundant biodiversity, that was listed as an emerald site (a future Natura 2000
site) and was designated in 2014 part of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

The problems with industrial chicken producer MHP's expansion in Ukraine

MHP is at the centre of concern for local communities and civil society organisations in Ukraine, because of the way the company engages stakeholders, acquires land, and impacts the environment, water and the local economic development. Since 2010 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved three loans for MHP, totalling USD 205 million.

Whether or not the company is in compliance with Ukrainian law, local people think they are not adequately protected and do not have an equal voice against a large corporation if it decides to begin construction.

Georgia swept by protests against EBRD-backed hydropower

Protests have in recent weeks broken out across rural Georgia after construction resumed on several large hydropower projects financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Demonstrators have complained that the projects were repeatedly decided behind closed doors, and that poor assessments of the social and environmental consequences mean their livelihoods are under threat.

Update on resettlements at Kolubara mine and other EPS operations

In October 2015 the independent Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development found that the bank breached its environmental and social policy with regards to safeguarding the rights of communities impacted by mining operations of the Serbian state energy company EPS. The EBRD responded by requiring EPS to develop “an overall Resettlement Framework which will apply to all of its activities” and by committing to monitor the implementation of the plan.

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