High pollution from coal power plants in Kosovo

Pollution from coal-fired power plants in Kosovo increased instead of decreasing during 2020, according to a report published today by the CEE Bankwatch Network and the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research (CREA), in cooperation with the Balkan Green Foundation.

Unlike other countries in the region, where sulfur dioxide is the biggest problem, in Kosovo the highest violations come from dust emissions. In 2020 these reached 4.25 times above the legal limit, to 5,867 tons, a significant increase from 5,042 tons emitted during the years 2018 – 2019.

The data has not yet been made public. The Kosovo B2 unit emitted 6.64 times above the permissible limit, making it the largest polluter.

Sulfur emissions were also 1.8 times above the limit allowed in 2020, with 19,987 tons in total. This was a significant increase compared to 2018 (14,232 tons), despite a comparable number of working hours.

Kosovo had the largest violation of nitric oxide limits in 2020, 1.65 times more than allowed. Emissions also increased significantly during 2018 and 2020 – reaching 22,846 tons, almost 3,700 tons more than in 2018.

The Large Combustion Power Plant Directive – an EU directive to reduce emissions of hazardous substances, adapted for countries that are parties to the Energy Community Treaty – legally requires these countries to curb air pollution from their power plants since 2018.

However, according to the report, in 2020, the 18 coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans emitted two and a half times more sulfur dioxide than all 221 coal-fired power plants in the EU combined.

The full press release can be found here.

Biodiversity and its impact on environment

Biodiversity makes the earth habitable. Biodiverse ecosystems provide nature-based solutions that buffer us from natural disasters such as floods and storms, filter our water and regenerate our soils.

The clearance of over 35% of the world’s mangroves for human activities has increasingly put people and their homes at risk from floods and sea-level rise. If today’s mangroves were lost, 18 million more people would be flooded every year (an increase of 39%) and annual damages to property would increase by 16% ($82 billion).

Protecting and restoring natural ecosystems is vital to fighting climate change. Nature-based solutions could provide 37% of the cost-effective CO2 mitigation needed by 2030 to maintain global warming within 2°C (35.6 F).

Natural ecosystems provide the foundations for economic growth, human health and prosperity. Our fate as a species is deeply connected to the fate of our natural environment.

As ecosystems are increasingly threatened by human activity, acknowledging the benefits of biodiversity is the first step in ensuring that we look after it. We know biodiversity matters. Now, as a society, we should protect it – and in doing so, protect our own long-term interests.

Reposted with permission from World Economic Forum.

377 mandatory fines were imposed on environmental polluters during the months of March – July 2021

Number of Mandatory Fines of the Administrative Instruction, no. 06/2018 imposed for the five-month period (March, April, May, June and July 2021) for environmental polluters is a total of 377. In addition to Mandatory Fines, some of the municipalities have sent applications to the Court, Verbal Proceedings and Request for Court within environmental issues, as follows:

Additional information:

The Inspector of Environmental Protection from the Municipality of Ferizaj, Nazlime Sejdiu, said that the large influx of migrants has led to an increase in consumption and with the latter to increase the amount of waste while the capacity of cleaning companies is small. She also stressed that from next week the situation with waste problems will stabilize.

As for the Municipalities: Fushë Kosovë, Vushtrri, Kaçanik, Deçan and Skenderaj we have not had reports from responsible persons.

The NGO “Let’s Do It”, which monitors at the municipal level, announces that the monitoring of the implementation of the Administrative Instruction on Mandatory Fines will continue in the coming months and thanks the municipal environmental inspectors for their cooperation and readiness to share data in order to that through the reporting of Mandatory Fines to raise awareness of polluters in order to create a cleaner environment throughout the territory of Kosovo.

Computer scenarios show that climate change can be stopped

While the world’s leading scientists on climate change published a report full of warnings this week, they continued to insist that the world still has a chance to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

“It is still possible to prevent most of the terrible impacts, but it really requires an unprecedented transformation,” said Ko Barrett, vice president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “I think the idea that there is still a way forward serves as a point that should give us hope.”
This promising path, on which dangerous changes in the climate world finally stop, is the product of huge computer simulations of the world economy. These are called integrated valuation models. There are several major versions of these computer estimates: four developed in Europe, one in Japan, and one in the United States.

“What we’re mostly doing is trying to explore what it takes to meet the goals of Paris.” says Detlef van Vuuren, from the Dutch Environmental Impact Assessment Agency, which developed one of the computer models.
How to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the next 40 years?

World leaders agreed in Paris to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. The planet is already warming by about 1 degree Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Achieving this goal means reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero within about 40 years. That would require profound changes.

That’s why some scientists have turned to their computer models for help. “How is it possible to go to zero show?” He answers. “It’s about transport, housing and electricity.
The models then try to meet that requirement in the most cost-effective way, as long as it is technologically feasible and does not match boundaries such as land supply or other resources.

The good news is that the models have found a way to achieve this goal, at least in scenarios in which world governments have been inclined to cooperate in fulfilling their obligations in Paris. In fact, according to Keivan Riahi, at the International Institute for Applied Systems in Austria, they found numerous paths to zero carbon.

Some models show people reacting to higher energy prices or government regulations by changing their lifestyle. They move into homes that save more energy and give up cars in favor of a new and better type of public transportation. In addition to traditional bus lines, autonomous vehicles like Uber – achieve the same effect, bringing people where they need them.

Scientist Riahi loves this version. “I am convinced that a fundamental restructuring on the demand side would also lead to a better quality of life,” he says.

Other scenarios show that people still consume a lot of energy, which in turn requires a huge increase in clean electricity production. This means 10 or 20 times more land covered by solar and wind power plants, compared to the current one, as well as more power plants in which wood or other biofuels are burned, equipped with equipment for capturing and storing carbon dioxide released by the wind.

Despite all their shortcomings, these models remain the main way in which scientists and policy makers find options for the future. They quantify trade-offs and consequences that may not be clearly visible. For example, if countries want to use wood or other natural materials as fuel, that means less land for growing food or natural forests. The models also clearly show that international cooperation is essential, with rich countries helping poorer countries reduce emissions.

The results of computer modeling are like maps that may now seem vague, but provide road maps that can help the world avoid a climate catastrophe.

The Environment-hub electronic platform is supported by HumanRightivism, managed by the CDF Community Development Fund, with the support of SIDA.

Consequences of deforestation and the need for reforestation

Over the past two decades, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that deforestation, by triggering a complex cascade of events, creates the conditions for a range of deadly pathogens—such as Nipah and Lassa viruses, and the parasites that cause malaria and Lyme disease—to spread to people.

Forests use more water than shorter types of vegetation because of higher evaporation; they also have lower surface runoff, groundwater recharge and water yield.

1 ha of forest per day releases about 47 000 liters of water in the form of steam during the transpiration process affecting the improvement of the climate up to 60 km.

Appeal for mobilization not to light fires

At a time when our country is facing high temperatures, unfortunately a disturbing phenomenon is emerging, endangering people’s lives, economic consequences and environmental damage. It is about the appearance of fires, which are appearing everywhere in Kosovo, which are damaging forests, forest lands, but also other rural and urban areas.

Forests make up about 44.7% of the territory of the Republic of Kosovo, and are a valuable national resource. Forest fires, in addition to wood, also endanger wild flora and fauna, because forests are their habitat – their home.

We call for maximum care in the preservation of forests, nature and the environment. We also appeal to all responsible institutions starting from the municipalities, KFA Municipal Units, fire service and police for coordination of actions, as well as increased care in fire prevention, and mobilization in their extinguishing.

We call in particular for the mobilization and increased care of the forest guards, to actively monitor the situation, and to identify the perpetrators, and to provide information to the law enforcement agencies, for the persons who cause the fires.

Please be careful and DO NOT LIGHT FIRE! Preserve forests, because they are precious national resources, and on which our lives depend!

Be part of the prevention and extinguishing of fires in cases of forest fires.

Notify the competent authorities in your municipalities for a quick response.

Assist the responsible institutions in dealing with forest fires. It is a civic and cultural obligation to be the lord of the country when he needs you.

WARNING: Lighting a fire is punishable by law!

Legal basis

Forest protection

Pursuant to Article 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18 paragraph 18.1 (f) of Law No. 03 / L-040 on Local Self-Government (Official Gazette No. 28/04 June 2008), is cited:

Municipal acts paragraph 12.2 point d) any other act necessary or necessary for the efficient functioning of the municipality

Article 13 The mayor issues ordinances and decisions

– Article 16 municipal competencies

Item g) responsibility for local emergencies.

Point s) any matter that is not expressly excluded from their competence

– Article 18 delegated competencies article 18.1 point f0 protection of forests that occurred in the territory of the municipality within the authorizations delegated by the central authority.

– Law No. 03 / L-153 on amending and supplementing Law No. 2003/3 on Kosovo Forests,

– Article 11 which amends and supplements Article 26 of the Basic Law defines the title “fire protection” is changed to the title “Forest protection”

– Article 12 paragraph 29.7 Forest protection in the territory of the Municipality is defined as delegated competence according to Article 18 of the Law on Local Self-Government, and paragraph 19.12, is quoted: “Forest protection as a competence is delegated to municipalities”

a) “the forest protection service as a whole in accordance with Article 29.1, 29.2 and 29.3 of Chapter VIII of the Law on Forests of Kosovo shall pass as a municipal competence”.

Support in the protection and regeneration of Kosovo forests

Communtiy Development Fund (CDF), through its HumanRightivism has supported local organisation Sustainability Leadership Kosova (SLK) in organisation of the event #MoseMerrMalin – the public event which marks the beginning of our movements for the protection and regeneration of Kosovo’s forests.

Individuals, businesses, and the government, let’s all unite! United we can protect the remaining forests, and regenerate what is lost. We can ensure a healthy future and clean air for all. We can develop the economy in tandem with an abundant natural system.

Community Development Fund – CDF

Embassy of Sweden in Pristina

HumanRightivis

Kurti: A legislative package should be made for the protection of the environment

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti has joined the campaign “Say no to plastic bags” and has received from the association “HANDIKOS” reusable strike worked by people with disabilities. In “Skënderbeu” square in Prishtina, where people with disabilities are standing to promote the campaign, Kurti said that there is a need for institutional responsibility and social awareness for these people but also the protection of the environment.

The chief executive has said a legislative package should be created to protect the environment.

“We must also take care of those who are poorer, weaker, sick or with special needs, but at the same time we must understand that natural resources are finite and they are also a living environment and not just a raw material for technology. Therefore, this initiative is very good, we need institutional responsibility and social awareness. “What we need to do is to create a working group in which certain ministers participate with a parliamentary committee, but also civil society and businesses, in order to make a legislative package for the protection of the environment”, said Kurti.

This campaign aims to protect the environment by not only using plastic bags but also promoting and supporting the work of ten people with disabilities.

According to Kurti, the reduction of plastic bags should be aimed at, and such a thing, he stressed, can be done faster from large models.

And the director of the association “Handikos”, Afrim Maliqi said that Kosovo institutions should influence to eliminate plastic bags.

“These are made by people with disabilities, these bags, simply the protection of the environment is about all citizens without distinction and to achieve civic equality so that people with disabilities are not only equal but also participants in all processes “, said Maliqi.

The Minister of Economy and Environment, Artanë Rizvanolli, said that he recognizes the obstacles faced by people with disabilities and that the existing legal framework is not sufficiently used in relation to them.

HANDIKOS ”and“ The Balkan Forum ”have started today the campaign“ Say no to plastic bags ”where today they stand in“ Skënderbeu ”and“ Mother Teresa ”squares in Prishtina, presenting the re-used strikes that have been worked on several months by persons with disabilities.

Stop charcoal – turn on the sun

If we stopped using coal in the Western Balkans for electricity, heating and heavy industry, this would eliminate the biggest source of air pollution.

Instead of millions of euros in subsidies and billions of credit guarantees for coal-fired power plants, these funds can be used for solar power generation, workers retraining and clean technology.

To put coal together and light up the sun, join our solidarity-based struggle and become part of the United Balkans Clean Air campaign.