The Bankwatch Podcast
By The Bankwatch Podcast
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.
Just transition moving forward in spite of obstacles
Territorial 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.
January 27, 2023
Heating and energy crisis: it’s time to stop spending EU money on new fossil fuel projects
This 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.
December 27, 2022
REPowerEU: addressing the energy and climate crisis, or prolonging the status-quo?
REPowerEU, 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.
October 24, 2022
Lung Run 2022: kickstarting just transition in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The 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.
October 06, 2022
Post-war reconstruction of Ukraine
While 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.
August 24, 2022
Western Balkan coal pollution still massive, illegal and deadly
More than four years have passed since the deadline for the Western Balkan countries to comply with pollution limits. These limits are meant to reduce the deadly impacts of coal power plants on human health and the environment. For four years, Bankwatch has been tracking the emissions of harmful air pollutants from Western Balkan coal plants. Our annual Comply or Close report assesses whether these plants’ emissions are within the legal limits, or dangerously exceed them. What is the current situation, and has anything changed in the last year? Listen to Bankwatch’s Southeast Europe energy advisor Pippa Gallop and Ioana Ciuta, energy coordinator for the Western Balkans, discuss these questions with our host Ana Kuzmanić, Bankwatch communications officer. For more about coal-generated air pollution, see our fourth Comply or Close report.
July 27, 2022
Behind the ‘green recovery’
Listen to Bankwatch’s EU Policy Officer for Biodiversity Daniel Thomson and Thomas Freisinger, the EU Policy Officer at EuroNatur, talk with our host Michaela Kožmínová, Bankwatch Communications officer. We discuss a missed opportunity for addressing the biodiversity crisis in recovery plans and why the EU’s ‘green recovery’ doesn’t support nature. Our experts also provide insights into projects that may harm nature. We conclude by discussing that the cost of inaction on biodiversity loss outweighs the investments needed. For more, see our report: Behind the 'green recovery' - Bankwatch This publication was produced in collaboration with EuroNatur in the frame of the joint research and advocacy work financed by MAVA Foundation.
June 29, 2022
Our call for sustainable finance at the EBRD annual meeting
In our new podcast episode dedicated to the EBRD annual meeting, Michaela Kožmínová, Communications officer at Bankwatch interviews campaigners and partners about their impressions, achievements and takeaways from the Bank’s flagship event. Learn more about our advocacy on the ground including human rights due diligence, gender equality in Uzbekistan, protection of unique biodiverse nature in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia and post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.
May 26, 2022
Cash for just transition: are CEE countries ready to spend it well?
The 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.
October 20, 2021
The deadly toll of Balkan coal: air pollution limits exceeded for 3 years in a row
This 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.
September 09, 2021
Breaking down biodiversity - the third episode of the BankWatch Podcast
Listen 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.
July 08, 2021
No time to celebrate: the 30th EBRD’s annual meeting
Listen 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
June 28, 2021
What is just transition? The first episode of the BankWatch Podcast
Listen 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.
June 22, 2021