Centre for Environment/Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina presented environment ministers with awards after the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that Bosnia and Herzegovina has the most polluted air in Europe. In front of the regional government building in Banja Luka members of Center for Environment/Friends of the Earth Bosnia & Herzegovina handed over the charters with award prizes to the Ministries.
The WHO’s analysis put (http://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2017/en/ ) Bosnia and Herzegovina top of the list of the most polluted countries in Europe, with the highest rate of deaths caused by air pollution, with other Balkan and Eastern Europe countries close behind.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has particularly high concentrations of particulate matter (PM 2.5), a carcinogen and the main cause of respiratory diseases which kill 231 people per 100 000 across the country. Worldwide, the only country with more per-capita deaths from air pollution is North Korea.
“While our politicians maintain that the air pollution problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina are only a drop in the sea of global emissions, the WHO analysis paints a different picture. Based on this, we estimate that five thermal power plants – Ugljevik, Ugljevik 3 and Stanari, along with others in Tuzla and Banovići – will lead to over 39 000 deaths and health costs of more than €800 million by 2030”, said Duška Kudra, Coordinator of the Energy and Climate Change Program at Centre for Environment/Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tihomir Dakić, Transport Program Coordinator at Centre for Environment/Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina said “Aside from industrial and thermal power plants, the major contributor to air pollution via aerosolisation comes from personal cars. According to the European Environment Agency, pollution from cars is increasing for the first time since 2007 and currently the traffic is the largest single factor that negatively affects climate change. By cycling, we help reduce the emissions of harmful gases and contribute to a healthier lifestyles. In addition, public transport and modernisation of the railways for better passenger traffic’’.
During the Bonn Convention in May 2017, grants were made available to Bosnia and Herzegovina to develop a plan for adaptation to climate change. Center for Environment/Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina is witnessing that the country’s governments continue to invest in dirty, expensive and damaging projects, resisting the opinions of the professionals and the public.