Transitioning from dirty energy in the Western Balkans

In this episode, we discuss how the energy transition in the Western Balkan is closely tied to air pollution efforts, as the region continues to generate electricity from coal without the legally required controls for controlling plant emissions.

  • The factors driving the energy transition in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Macedonia
  • Mechanisms needed to ensure highly-polluting fuels control pollutant emissions while transitioning to renewables are replaced by renewables
  • State of the air pollution in the region and health impacts coming directly from the combustion and deposition of coal
  • Creative campaigns to raise awareness for air pollution in coal mining regions, and encouraging transparency of data

Our guest Ioana Ciută is the energy coordinator at the NGO CEE Bankwatch Network. She joined Bankwatch in 2014 as coordinator of the Balkans Beyond Coal campaign, preventing new coal capacities from being built in the Western Balkans region. She works closely with member groups and partners from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia, offering support to the national campaigns, while also advocating for stricter environmental regional policies. Prior to joining Bankwatch, she covered nuclear energy development in Romania and Bulgaria, and followed the international climate change negotiations. She has a degree in journalism, but has been an environmental campaigner much longer than a journalist. Find her on Twitter.

Our interviewer Teodora Stoyanova is an Associate at the European Climate Foundation. She supports the work on coal exit, energy transition and communication in the South East Europe region with a focus on Bulgaria. Prior to joining the European Climate Foundation, Teodora worked as a Climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Bulgaria where she led the work on coal, renewables and air quality. Teodora holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment with a focus on finance and energy. In her spare time, she is part of a small group of enthusiasts who develop out-of-the-box creative solutions and projects for improving the urban environment and infrastructure in an environmentally-friendly way. Teodora is based in Varna, Bulgaria. She enjoys going to the beach, reading and exploring new places.

Episode notes and references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna

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