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Report: EU action on Western Balkans’ chronic coal pollution is a unique opportunity to improve health and productivity

Sixteen outdated coal power plants in the Western Balkans are a public health and economic liability for the whole of Europe, with people in the EU bearing the majority of the health impacts and costs, according to the new report by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Sandbag, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network and Europe Beyond Coal.

The European Union (EU) needs to use all of the tools available to improve health, prolong lives, save health costs and increase productivity both in the EU and in the Western Balkan region.

Based on the methodology by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission, the Chronic Coal Pollution report shows that every year air pollution from Western Balkan coal power plants is responsible for an estimated 3,900 premature deaths, 8,500 cases of bronchitis in children and other chronic illnesses. The health issues these plants cause adds up to lost productivity and health costs of up to EUR 11,535 million. 

Report: EU action on Western Balkans’ chronic coal pollution is a unique opportunity to improve health and productivity

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