Saturday, August 12, 2017

Serbia's clean energy commitment is a lie?

Kostolac B thermal power-plant (photo CINS)

            Recently Serbia's admission into the EU has come into questions because of their recent agreement with the Chinese state Export-Import (Exim) bank. The deal that was made states that the Chinese will give the Serbian government a loan of 608.2 million dollars in order to construct the third block of Kostolac B thermal power plant which is an extension of capacities of the Drmno opencast from which lignite coal is extracted to operate the plant. This is becoming a problem because the Serbian government has done nothing to relocate the inhabitants of the village of Drmno which is the closest village to the thermal power plant and opencast. 
            Research conducted by the Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development (CEKOR) shows that in four out of five households in Drmno there is at least one household member suffering from some chronic or prolonged illness. This and other air quality issues have be raised and the EU is not happy about it. They made it clear that environmental protection plays an important role in Serbia joining the European Union (EU). Dragana Mileusnić from organization Climate Action Network (CAN Europe) says that unless Serbia acts in accordance with standards, it will either have to pay enormous fines or close down the thermal power plant. 
When asked about this Kostolac thermal power plant, did not accept an interview with journalists from Centre for Investigative Journalism in Serbia (CIJS). However, in a written reply, they state that EPS is committed to harmonizing plant’s operation with domestic legislation and EU Directives.
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