November 29, 2023
The past summer has been hot in the Croatian city of Split, and not just because of the rising temperatures and the tourist buzz overflowing the city. What topped up the usual dynamic was a heated political debate over a EUR 150 million framework loan approved by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the biggest loan to date for Split.
The EU and US are fossil-fooling the Western Balkans with gas How can the region cut to a clean future?
November 29, 2023
The Western Balkans’ energy transition is finally starting to pick up pace. But false solutions such as fossil gas threaten to divert resources and create new fossil-fuel lock-in. So why do the European Union (EU) and United States (US) continue to push such projects in the region and what can be done about it?
Western Balkans decarbonisation is urgent: but the EU enlargement package is still sending mixed signals
November 10, 2023
The European Commission’s annual reports on the Western Balkan countries’ EU accession progress vary considerably on decarbonisation, sending mixed messages on coal and especially gas. The EU needs to take a more consistent approach if the region is to achieve decarbonisation by 2050 at the latest.
October 26, 2023
Geothermal energy as a sustainable source for district heating is gathering steam around the world. Many municipalities in the Western Balkans urgently need to break free from dirty and expensive fossil fuel-based heating. One little-known way of doing so is to tap the region’s geothermal potential lying right below their feet.
October 24, 2023
27 civil society organisations have sent a joint letter to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, (1) questioning a recent statement by Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi that the EU would help Montenegro to build a liquified gas (LNG) terminal at the port of Bar (2), and calling on the EU not to support the project.
October 20, 2023
Back in 2018, following a public call by the Centar municipality in Skopje, 26 buildings were approved to receive energy-efficient façades. Yet only one building has been retrofitted in five years, leaving the residents in the other 25 buildings back at square one, disheartened by the whole process and forced to look for other alternatives to insulate their old buildings.
October 16, 2023
This report describes both the constraints facing primarily small and medium-sized communities in the region that wish to upgrade their district heating networks as well as the financial needs and potential in recalibrating financial streams to unlock a just and sustainable heating transition in the Western Balkans.
October 5, 2023
As cities and towns across central and eastern Europe work toward decarbonising their heating systems, the need to deploy renewable energy alternatives in the sector has never been greater. The small town of Žabljak, nestled in the mountainous region of northern Montenegro, is at the forefront of this effort.
Bulgarian court rules out Sofia waste incinerator plant due to unassessed health risks and lack of public consultation
September 26, 2023
After eight years of litigation, Sofia’s Administrative Court overturned the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a waste incineration plant in the Bulgarian capital. Expected to burn processed waste in the form of refuse-derived fuel (RDF), the plant would have put the health of Sofia’s residents at risk, polluted the air, generated toxic ash and created additional traffic, the court ruled.
September 21, 2023
Nature conservation and human rights organisations have secured an important first milestone in the fight against the planned 210 MW Skavica hydropower plant in the Albanian municipalities of Kukës and Dibër.