Coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans cause around 19,000 premature deaths. Photo: © Dragan Mujan /

Western Balkans deserve cleaner air

A report from CEE Bankwatch Network and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air estimates that around 19,000 premature deaths in the past three years are attributed to air pollution from Western Balkan coal-fired power plants.

The Large Combustion Plants Directive – an EU directive to reduce emissions of dangerous substances, adapted for countries parties to the Energy Community Treaty – legally requires these countries to rein in air pollution from their power plants since 2018. Yet, as the report finds, in 2020, the Western Balkans’ 18 coal plants emitted two and half times as much sulphur dioxide (SO2) as all 221 coal power stations in the EU combined.

Source: Bankwatch Press release 7 September

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