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HEAL’s Unpaid Health Bill launched in Romania

On 9 December HEAL launched the Romanian version of The Unpaid Health Bill at a press briefing in Bucharest. HEAL’s report shows that annual health costs due to coal pollution in Romania are the second highest in EU at up to 6.4 billion EUR.

In the EU, Romania takes second place for the highest levels of pollution from coal power plants, alongside Germany. Pollution impacts in Romania stand at 2,731 premature deaths, approximately 1,284 new cases of chronic bronchitis and over 619,660 lost working days each year.

HEAL’s Coal and Health Officer Julia Huscher joined Association Bankwatch Romania to co-host a press briefing in Bucharest to launch the recently translated report into Romanian. The report was well received in the Romanian media. Bankwatch Romania prepared the translation and had already organised a joint seminar with HEAL on coal’s health impacts in March this year.

Julia says: “Coal power plants represent the most important source of air pollution in Romania. Lignite power plants are the most problematic; we also need to consider that besides the air pollution generated by these power plants, mining activities also have a significant impact, through air and water pollution. The European Union is proposing stricter pollution norms at power plants starting from 2016, but the Romanian government has requested to delay such measures at 42 power plant units until 2020, which does not represent the best decision in terms of health protection. Thus, Romania should reduce current air pollution levels and not apply derogations to existing power plants.”

Ionut Brigle of Bankwatch Romania, says: “Currently, Romania has an overcapacity for electricity production. Thus, for the short and medium term we have the flexibility to plan what our electricity production sector should look like and gradually quit the use of coal, the most polluting form of energy.”

Press release available here

More information on The Unpaid Health Bill here

Download the full report here - RO
Download the Executive Summary here - RO

Originally posted on 17 December 2013

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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