Comply or Close 2023: five years of deadly legal breaches by Western Balkan coal plants
Report | 28 June 2023
The end of 2022 marked five years since new air pollution standards entered into force in the Western Balkans on 1 January 2018. Yet the deadly air pollution from the region’s mostly antiquated coal power plants has hardly decreased at all. In fact, in 2022 it increased compared to 2021 for all three regulated pollutants – sulphur dioxide (SO2), dust and nitrogen oxides (NOX). And for the first time, the overall regional ceiling for NOX was breached.
SO2 emissions from coal plants included in the National Emissions Reduction Plans (NERPs) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia were still collectively 5.6 times as high as allowed.
Dust emissions also increased compared to 2021, and in 2022 were in total nearly 1.8 times as high as allowed. For the first time since the rules entered force, North Macedonia’s Bitola B1+2 had the highest SO2 and dust emissions in the region – and both almost doubled compared to 2021.
Check the Comply or Close page for more information.