NEWS AND EVENTS

CSOs deliver over 16 000 signatures for a cleaner energy future in Tirana

(Tirana, Albania, October 16 2015) A group of CSOs from South East Europe (SEE) delivered over 16 000 petition signatures to Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action and Co-Chair of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community today before its meeting in Tirana, Albania. The regional petition was based on three demands: increasing energy efficiency in homes, cleaning up the corrupt energy systems of the region and adopting and fulfilling EU climate goals and targets. The petition has been signed by 16 229 citizens from SEE countries [1] that are members of the Energy Community.

The petition was delivered on the day the Ministerial Council approved a Roadmap on the future of the Energy Community. The Roadmap includes plans to adopt additional environmental and procurement legislation and improvements to controls on state aid. These measures are crucial to put an end to the lower environmental standards that Energy Community residents suffer from compared to the EU and to halt the stream of public money being wasted on supporting dirty energy sources. However, the document is light on detail and non-committal on the issue of much-needed strengthening of the Energy Community’s enforcement mechanism.

“Just within one year, the results of air pollution in Kosovo amount to 835 premature deaths, 600 hospital admissions, and 11 600 emergency visits [2]. If these are the results of using dirty coal, is it worth supporting similar projects in the future?”, asks Kushtrim Kaloshi of Kosovo-based CSO Advocacy and Training Resource Center (ATRC).

Dejan Milovac of CSO MANS from Montenegro, where another unit of the Pljevlja lignite power plant with installed capacity of 254 MW is planned, emphasizes the importance of long-term policies. “Shortsighted and irresponsible decision making is already leaving an irreversible print on the lives of the millions in this part of Europe. Coal is not only polluting the air we breathe and the soil we use to bring food to our families, it is deeply corrupting the future of our children, leaving them to cope with the consequences of tomorrow.”

As Albania ends its presidency of the Energy Community and Bosnia and Herzegovina begins, Ermelinda Mahmutaj of Albanian CSO EDEN Center states that advocating the demands of the petition will continue. “The current policies of SEE countries pay only lip-service to the EU energy and climate pathway, therefore we will continue with our efforts, as the fulfillment of these demands is possible if there is political will and with the help of the generous alternative energy sources our region has.”

 

Signed organizations:
SEE Change Net
Analytica (Macedonia**)
ATRC (Kosovo*)
CEKOR (Serbia)
CPI (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
CZZS (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
DOOR (Croatia)
EDEN (Albania)
Ekolevizja (Albania)
Eko-Svest (Macedonia**)
Forum for Freedom in Education (Croatia)
Fractal (Serbia)
Front 21/42 (Macedonia**)
Green Home (Montenegro)
MANS (Montenegro)
WWF Adria
CEE Bankwatch
Climate Action Network Europe

Notes for Editors:

[1] Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Macedonia**, Montenegro, Serbia. Croatia is not a member of Energy Community anymore, but Croatian partner CSOs provided support to the petition and its demands.
[2] Source: http://www.kosovalive360.com/per-nje-vit-835-vdekje-te-parakohshme-nga-ndotja-e-ajrit.html

Contacts: Masha Durkalić, SEE Change Net Communication Officer, masha@seechangenet.org, + 387 33 213 716

 

* According to the UN, Kosovo is “under the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1244”.
** According to the UN, the official name for Macedonia is “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.