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Environmentalists say power plant projects likely to be prioritised by EU may cause serious harm to environment & health

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30 October 2013

EU-backed energy projects will harm people and the environment in the Western Balkans

Author: CEE Bankwatch Network

NGOs from across the region are expressing very serious concerns about the list of 35 priority energy projects approved by the European Commission-backed Energy Community meeting in Belgrade, Serbia...Several of the selected projects are environmentally and socially damaging coal and hydropower plants...“We are deeply concerned about several hydropower projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia that have received the backing of the Energy Community. These projects will have significant environmental and social impacts and do not meet basic EU standards...,” said Angela Klauschen from WWF...“It is highly disappointing that an EU-backed body has prioritised projects that directly conflict with EU goals, including three lignite power plants – Kolubara B and Nikola Tesla B3 in Serbia and Kosova e Re in Kosovo – which clash with the EU's long-term climate goals and harm local people's health”, added Pippa Gallop from CEE Bankwatch Network...“The Energy Community has stated that projects not meeting EU standards will be deleted from the priority list and we are holding Commissioner Oettinger and President Barroso accountable for ensuring that this pledge is followed up”, conclude the NGOs.

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22 October 2013

Dirty power plants in Europe's neighbourhood set to become EU priority

Author: CEE Bankwatch Network

...Several environmentally damaging coal and hydropower projects across the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova are likely to be included...on a priority list of projects of the European Commission-backed Energy Community, meaning they will be fast-tracked for financing over the next years. The Energy Community is meant to integrate EU and Neighbouring countries energy systems. Among the projects submitted for prioritisation by Neighbouring EU countries members of the Energy Community, 15 have been identified by Bankwatch as prone to causing serious harm to the climate, environment and health. These include the Kosova e Re lignite power plant in Kosovo, three lignite plants including Kolubara B in Serbia, and two new coal units in western Ukraine - Burshtyn and Dobrotvir - that would be aimed mostly at electricity exports to the EU, while leaving health and environmental costs to local population. Several hydropower plants in Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina...are also on the list...The selected projects will be allowed to undergo a fast-track approval process on the national level, which may mean the concerned public might not be consulted thoroughly before approval. Despite repeated requests by NGOs and local groups to see a potential list of projects approved for prioritisation, the Energy Community has refused to disclose any information to date.

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