have passed since the deadline for the Western Balkan countries to comply with pollution limits. These are meant to reduce the deadly impacts of their coal power plants on human health and the environment.
This is enshrined in the Energy Community Treaty through the Large Combustion Plants Directive. None of the countries using coal comply.
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Western Balkan coal power plants pollute 6 times as much as allowed
In the last three years, the Western Balkan countries’ coal plants included in National Emission Reduction Plans have spewed out six times as much sulphur dioxide as allowed and 1.6 times as much dust pollution.
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Air pollution kills
Visualising what this amount of pollution means is not easy, but our data does just that. Using satellite data and atmospheric model outputs, we are able to show how the pollution from the non-compliant coal power plants in the Western Balkans travels across the continent.
In addition to choking the communities around the coal power plants, the most affected neighbouring countries are Italy, Hungary, Romania and Greece.
Basemap: GADM3.6 & A Schneider et al 2009 Environ. Res. Lett. 4 044003. Visualization: Andreas Anhäuser