March 30, 2023
In February and March 2023, our environmental organisation Za Zemiata (Friends of the Earth – Bulgaria) organised several meetings in Stara Zagora and Galabovo in south-central Bulgaria dedicated to just energy transition and the development opportunities it offers the region. Our main aim was to involve local stakeholders whose voices have thus far been ignored. Participants included representatives of civil society, members of small and medium-sized enterprises and academics from Trakia University in Stara Zagora. Unfortunately, despite efforts to foster dialogue between business, civil society, academia and the institutions, the absence of the municipality, which was invited to attend the meetings, was notable.
January 30, 2023
This briefing summarises just transition planning in Bulgaria thus far, reviewing the TJTPs’ compatibility with EU requirements and the overall process’s alignment with the partnership principle. It provides recommendations for improving just transition in the upcoming period.
May 30, 2022
EBRD and EIB investments in Bulgarian hydropower have once again been hit by scandal with the recent failure of the Chaira pumped storage plant and revelations about the illegality of small hydropower plants. The planned Yadenitsa dam would be more of the same: will the EBRD and EIB be wise enough to say no?
April 28, 2022
After one year of negotiations, at the beginning of April, the European Commission finally endorsed the sixth and final version of Bulgaria’s recovery plan. According to the Commission, nearly 60 per cent of the projects included in the plan support the green transition of the country, which is the highest percentage among all the recovery plans approved so far.
January 21, 2022
In 2021, the Bulgarian (interim) government announced that it had decided to transform the huge Maritza Iztok 2 coal-fired power plant into a steam-gas plant – (to replace 1.4 GW of coal capacity with a minimum of 1 GW of gas). The government has sought funding from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Modernisation Fund and other unnamed private sources.
December 13, 2021
Bankwatch member group Za Zemiata illuminates Sofia’s thermal power plant to protest plans for the construction of a waste incineration facility that would poison the capital.
November 30, 2021
A series of damaging hydropower plants on the Iskar river shows why the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) needs to be tightened.
November 18, 2021
In October Bulgaria’s Maritsa East Mines celebrated a record 1 622 556 tonnes of lignite extracted. Rising gas and electricity prices at …
November 5, 2021
After a six-month delay and three revisions, the EUR 6.6 billion Bulgarian national recovery and resilience plan has finally been submitted to the European Commission. Although this delay postpones its implementation, the plan is markedly improved particularly in terms of biodiversity protection, following dialogue between environmental groups and the authorities. The process shows the key role public participation can play in delivering a green recovery.
July 8, 2021
This briefing is the third in our series of updates on the Territorial Just Transition Plan (TJTP) preparation process in seven central and eastern European (CEE) countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.