European Commission urged to act on destructive hydropower projects in Romanian protected areas
May 11, 2023
Bankwatch Romania today submitted a complaint to the European Commission, seeking to reverse an Emergency Ordinance of the Romanian Government, which greenlights nine destructive hydropower projects (1) and is considered to breach three European Union Directives.
Skavica hydropower plant, Albania
April 28, 2023
Instead of increasing its energy security, Albania is pushing the construction of yet more hydropower. The Skavica project may flood several villages, displace thousands of people and bring the Balkan lynx to extinction
EU’s house bank breached environmental standards on Serbia hydropower project
April 14, 2023
The European Investment Bank (EIB) breached its environmental standards during the approval of the Komalj small hydropower plant in Serbia, the Bank’s Complaint Mechanism has concluded, in a report published today. (1)
NGOs take Romania to court in the country’s first climate lawsuit
April 6, 2023
Declic – one of Romania’s most important NGOs – has filed the country’s first ever climate lawsuit for the government’s failure to take appropriate measures to reduce and mitigate the foreseeable risks posed by the climate crisis. Climate activists from Declic also asked the court to issue Romanian Prime Minister Nicoale Ciucă and the Ministers of Environment and Energy with fines for every day of inaction. The case alleges that Romanian officials have breached their legal duties to adopt and implement an energy transition strategy that aligns with the Paris Agreement, keeping the global average temperature below a 1.5°C increase.
Western Balkans: EUR 3.5 billion gas build-out poses economic, energy security risks and threatens green transition
March 30, 2023
Prague, Czech Republic – Plans for EUR 3.5 billion of new gas-fired power plants, pipelines, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the Western Balkans would force countries to import far more gas than they have in the past, introducing economic and energy security risks into the region’s already challenging energy transition, finds new research from Global Energy Monitor and Bankwatch.
Kosovo becomes the first Western Balkan country to stop promoting new hydropower
March 28, 2023
After years of hydropower-related controversies, Kosovo’s long-awaited new Energy Strategy confirms that the government does not support new development in the sector, due to its environmental impacts. It also sends promising signals on carbon pricing and solar and wind development. Still, the country needs to avoid wasting money on coal and gas.
Activists call on EU to better protect nature from energy infrastructure in the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova
March 14, 2023
60 civil society organisations have sent a joint letter to the EU Commissioner for Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius, calling on the EU to better protect nature during energy infrastructure development under the Energy Community Treaty (1).
How renewable energy could reinvigorate Romania’s slumbering district heating sector
March 3, 2023
The lack of modernisation and rehabilitation of Romania’s district heating systems is felt most strongly by the inhabitants, but it also affects local budgets and has a negative impact on the environment.
Illiberalism alert: draft law to shut down civil society awaits vote in the Romanian senate
February 22, 2023
Under the absurd claim that the country doesn’t have enough motorways or hydropower generation capacity because of NGOs’ actions in court challenging environmental and construction permits, the Romanian parliament is going after civil society altogether and on multiple fronts.
EBRD: Everything is peachy, just trust us!
February 17, 2023
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) appears keen to finance a major new pipeline to import fossil gas from Greece to North Macedonia, which would lock the country into increased fossil gas use for decades. Yet when the rationale for this is questioned, the EBRD fails to provide relevant data to justify its claims.