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Success in advocating for health and climate with the Energy Community reform

HEAL’s years long extensive advocating for the reform of the Energy Community Treaty leveraged one more success in the Western Balkans recently. The Energy Community brings together the EU, and countries from the South East Europe and Black Sea region.

HEAL’s advocating for better environmental health standards and climate action in the Balkans have leveraged another success last week when the EU Commission proposed a recommendation to incorporate the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation into the Energy Community acquis. This regulation includes requirements for the monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and reporting of other climate relevant data, and is an important step in ensuring that South Eastern and Black Sea countries can live up to the Paris climate agreement.

The Permanent High Level Group of Energy Community welcomed the announcement and put it in time for adoption on the Ministerial Council 2016. This decision followed a joint letter by HEAL and Climate Action Network Europe to EU Climate Commissioner Arias Canete.

Since last year, HEAL has extensively advocated for the reform of the Treaty, to improve most importantly commitments for environmental (air quality) standards and climate action, and the involvement of civil society in the institution.

Most recently HEAL called upon the Vice-President of the EU Commission, Mr. Šefčovič, to increase his engagement with the Western Balkans on their pathway to low-carbon transformation and healthy energy future. This will bring many benefits, including to people’s health not only in the region but the whole of Europe.

The Energy Community - an international organisation dealing with energy policy with one of the objectives being improvement of the environmental situation in relation with energy supply in the SEE region – had formally “opened its doors” to Civil Society Organizations by holding an inaugural Civil Society Open Day on 21 June.

HEAL’s Vlatka Matkovic Puljic presented a critical policy issue for the Energy Community: the unpaid health bill of coal power plants in Western Balkans, together with Dr. Mike Holland (author of the Technical report of Unpaid Health Bill). The exchange took place with members of the Energy Community’s Permanent High Level Group and civil society representatives.

A group of non-profit organisations presented a Policy Briefing with a brief elaboration of the key recommendations for the continuing reform of the Energy Community Legal Framework. In this briefing, the NGOs including HEAL highlighted the limited scope of the environmental acquis within the Treaty and called for the inclusion on several EU Directives. Most importantly from the public health perspective were the Directive on industrial emissions and Directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe.

Last updated on 30 June 2016

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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 »

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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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