KOSOVO SAYS NO TO WORLD BANK’S DIRTY COAL
Visar Azemi is the coordinator for the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) and a faculty member at the University of Maryland. Before joining KOSID, Mr. Azemi, a Kosovo native, was an electrical engineer.
Leaders, journalists, and civil society organizations gathered at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. this past weekend for the World Bank’s annual spring meetings. Halfway across the world, the people of Kosovo were and still are speaking out.
The Republic of Kosovo, nestled in the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, is home to approximately 2 million people facing an energy crisis. If the World Bank gets its way, our young country will be locked-in to a dirty energy future for decades to come.
The proposed Kosovo Power Project (KPP), a 600-megawatt lignite coal power plant, is slated to be built despite the outcry of the public. Lignite coal is widely considered one of the dirtiest forms of coal, and its use in the existing power plants is already taking itlocal and central government.
At the end of the meeting, discussions were held with residents of Hade who clearly expressed their disappointment in this process.
They expressed that their livelihood is becoming worse and encountering many problems such as:
- Prevention of the right to build new houses or building to the existing ones;
- Lack of willingness for action from municipal authorities, as many meetings took place in the past years with many projects discussed and promises made, but the local authorities failed to deliver in any of them.
- The fact that the current environmental situation is deteriorating is becoming an alarming factor for the increase in respiratory diseases;
In addition, this seminar served to mobilize residents and lead them towards actions to be taken in the future.