Welcome to the BankWatch Podcast by Bankwatch. We are a coalition of 16 environmental organisations from 14 countries in central and eastern Europe that expose the risks of the international finances. We will cover news, updates and in-depth analysis of how public finance impacts the environment, human rights and zero-carbon economy. We bring critical updates from the ground as well. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you listen.
Cash for just transition: are CEE countries ready to spend it well?
16:15The EU is making tens of billions of euros available for the transition of European coal regions, both from the dedicated Just Transition Fund and from other budgetary sources. Countries in central and eastern Europe are in the process of finalising spending plans, to show the Commission how they want to use the cash. How far along are they in the process, how inclusive were governments of the affected communities and – the key question – are authorities in the region planning to spend the money on the right things? Miloslawa Stepnien, Bankwatch Just Transition coordinator, answers some of these questions and more, in the newest episode of the Bankwatch podcast.
The deadly toll of Balkan coal: air pollution limits exceeded for 3 years in a row
22:39This podcast episode coincides with the launch of our new Comply or Close report, a yearly look at coal-generated air pollution in the Western Balkans. From 2018 to 2020, around 19 000 people across Europe and beyond lost their lives because of air pollution emitted by Balkan coal power plants. Nearly 12 000 of these were caused by breaches of legal limits, so were completely preventable. The Western Balkan governments are primarily responsible. But the EU is also supporting the status quo by importing dirty electricity from the Western Balkans. Listen to air pollution experts: Erika Uusivuori of the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), Denis Žiško of the Centre for Ecology and Energy from Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bankwatch’s Ioana Ciuta discussing the report’s findings with our host Claudia Ciobanu. See www.complyorclose.org to get the report and to find out more.
Breaking down biodiversity - the third episode of the BankWatch Podcast
9:23Listen to Bankwatch’s biodiversity experts Katerina Rakovska from Bulgaria and Rolands Ratfelders from Latvia talk with our host Claudia Ciobanu, Bankwatch Communications officer. We discuss the complex and alarming situation of biodiversity in Europe and how and why Member States need to support biodiversity. Our experts also provide insights into why the EU recovery funds are a major missed opportunity to increase funding for biodiversity. We conclude by discussing what more can be done to halt biodiversity loss and support nature protection. For more, see our publication: Building back biodiversity: how EU Member States fail to spend the recovery fund for nature This publication was produced in collaboration with EuroNatur in the frame of the joint research and advocacy work financed by MAVA Foundation.
No time to celebrate: the 30th EBRD’s annual meeting
11:17Listen to Fidanka McGrath, Bankwatch’s EBRD policy officer and David Hoffman, Bankwatch’s Communications coordinator in a special episode on the occasion of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 30th annual meeting (28.06-02.07.2021). We discuss the bank’s unique political mandate, its approach towards human rights and democracy and the ongoing operational expansion to sub Saharan Africa. On top of that, we ask whether EBRD’s new president Odile Renaud-Basso can take a strong stand in human rights and democracy. If you wish to dive deeper, read our new publication: No time to celebrate: a breakthrough for human rights is needed after 30 years of the EBRD
What is just transition? The first episode of the BankWatch Podcast
12:00Listen to Aleksandru Mustata (Bankwatch just transition coordinator) interviewed by Rosa Hergan (Bankwatch Balkan community support coordinator) sharing his insights about working with coal mining communities across central and south Europe.