Large-scale open cast mines often force communities to relocate. Coal-fired power stations damage air quality, water and soil.
Coal mining and coal power also threaten internationally agreed human rights, notably the right to a healthy environment, the right to water, the right to health and the right to food and nutrition.
The Western Balkans has some of Europe‘s highest air pollution levels. Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, source most of their energy from fossil fuels, especially domestically produced coal. Thousands of people have been affected by land erosion, flooding and air quality. Many of them have not been re-located or fairly compensated, despite living in impossible conditions: losing their livelihoods and suffering from coal-related diseases.
While most of these coal-powered power plants were constructed during the Yugoslavia era, controversies have erupted in recent years over irresponsible Chinese financing of new projects which fall far short of national and international environmental standards.
FIAN International supports local civil society groups and affected communities who are fighting for justice: relocation, fair compensation, legitimate environmental impact assessments and a phasing out of coal power in line with the European Union Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.