When EU money is used for feeding countries’ gas addiction
20:11Just as the EU is working to end its dependence on Russian fossil gas imports, and the climate crisis is wreaking havoc throughout the world, some European governments are just as keen to channel billions of euros to cement the dependence on fossil gas. In this episode, Raluca Petcu (Bankwatch Romania) and Krzysztof Mrozek (Polish Green Network), discuss a recent report they co-authored, that revealed that the Romanian and Polish governments have together earmarked nearly EUR 4 billion from various EU funds for a raft of fossil gas projects that threaten to derail the energy transition in the two countries.
The EBRD Annual Meeting from the perspective of Central Asia’s activists
23:57On 16-18 May 2023, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) held its Annual Meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. This year, human rights violations, shrinking civic space and marginalisation of communities in Central Asia were particularly high on our agenda. In our new podcast episode dedicated to the EBRD Annual Meeting, we interview some of our civil society partners working in the region. Activists from Central Asia share their concerns about human rights and gender equality in Kyrgyzstan, the EBRD’s approach to human rights due diligence in Uzbekistan, the challenges faced by the LBGTIQ community in Central Asia, and more.
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The Baltic dash for LNG: where is the energy transition heading?
19:03The scramble for fossil gas supplies to replace imports from Russia, triggered by the war in Ukraine, has driven governments in the Baltics to prioritise plans for liquified fossil gas – commonly known as LNG. But this LNG infrastructure spree is reckless. In this episode, Liene Krauja of Green Liberty in Latvia and Johanna Kuld of the Estonian Green Movement discuss the implications of this rash approach and what the latest developments mean for the Baltic energy transition. They say the focus of the Lithuanian, Estonian, Latvian and Finnish governments should be on enhancing regional cooperation. The actual priority should be to accelerate the energy transition with a view to ending dependence on fossil gas altogether.
Biodiversity on the brink: what’s holding back financing for nature in the EU?
17:54Listen to Katerina Rakovska, Bulgarian biodiversity campaigner, and Thomas Freisinger, EU policy officer at EuroNatur, talk with our host Michaela Kožmínová, Bankwatch communications officer. We discuss the main barriers and bottlenecks at the national level in central and eastern Europe that are preventing an increase in the quantity and quality of EU funds for biodiversity. Our experts also provide recommendations on how we can more effectively use EU funds for nature conservation and restoration. For more, see our report: Biodiversity on the brink: What's holding back financing for nature in the EU? - Bankwatch This publication was produced in collaboration with EuroNatur under the framework of joint research and advocacy work financed by EURENI.
Reconstruction of Ukraine one year after invasion: how far did we get?
44:34One year ago, Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. To face the damages, Ukraine’s and international efforts to plan the reconstruction and rebuild the country, are underway. On 24 February 2023, we look back and evaluate the progress in Ukraine’s reconstruction planning throughout the past year. What worked well and what didn’t? And what will be the next steps? Listen to our discussion with Anna Ackermann, Board member at Ukraine’s NGO Ecoaction and Policy analyst leading work on a green reconstruction of Ukraine at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Valeriya Izhyk, EU policy officer within Ukraine Reconstruction team at Bankwatch.
Just transition moving forward in spite of obstacles
34:13Territorial Just Transition Plans should steer carbon-intensive regions towards climate neutrality while addressing social, economic and environmental issues and engaging stakeholders. After two years of planning and drafting the plans, Member States should be ready to implement them. In this episode, we explore the just transition in Bulgaria and Hungary with the help of our guests Alexa Botar, climate and energy program director at Friends of the Earth Hungary, and Ventzeslava Kojouharova, just transition campaigner at Za Zemiata, Bulgaria.
Heating and energy crisis: it’s time to stop spending EU money on new fossil fuel projects
15:21This winter, hundreds of millions of people in Europe are struggling to stay warm without the usual stream of Russian gas, which makes our over-dependence on this fossil fuel more apparent than ever. In fact, about 70 per cent of the energy used for the EU’s heating still comes from fossil fuels. What needs to change to ensure sustainable heating for everyone? How can we prevent future energy crises? What are the plans for decarbonising heating and how far along are we in the process? We discuss these questions with Morgan Henley, EU heating sector decarbonisation campaigner at CEE Bankwatch Network.
REPowerEU: addressing the energy and climate crisis, or prolonging the status-quo?
35:36REPowerEU, the European Commission’s response to the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, has the potential to accelerate the roll-out of renewables and influence energy savings, but will the funds be used for more fossil fuels projects? In this episode we take a deep dive into REPowerEU with our guests, Olivier Vardakoulias, Finance and Subsidies Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe, and Christophe Jost, Senior EU Policy Officer at CEE Bankwatch Network.
Lung Run 2022: kickstarting just transition in Bosnia and Herzegovina
20:41The 2022 Lung Run is a trail running race designed to raise awareness in communities in the Western Balkans about the need to move away from polluting practices and industries. In this episode of the Bankwatch podcast we discuss the original idea behind the run, how we chose the location and where does the local community stand regarding just transition process.
Post-war reconstruction of Ukraine
24:21While the fight to liberate Ukraine is still ongoing, discussions about the reconstruction process have already begun. Several proposals developed by a variety of stakeholders already exist. How do they reflect green reconstruction principles and the Ukrainian people’s needs? Listen to the latest episode of the Bankwatch podcast to find out.