Interview with Climate Activist [Ania Sauku]

 3

  • CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF? 

Absolutely! Well, I am a very-much-care-about-everything 20 years old, who is currently studying law and wishing to specialize on human rights with an environmental focus. I've been invloved in the civic society ever since I was 16, taking part in different networks and activities and meeting people who really inspire change and inspire me to work harder for my community. But outside of my engagements, I like to consider myself a creative soul who is always on the lookout to have some fun!

  • TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR MAIN MOTIVATION FOR BEING INVOLVED WITH UNYA. WHEN DID YOU FIRST START WITH YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE ENVIRONMENT? WHAT WAS THE TURNING POINT?

At the point before I joined UNYA, I had taken part in some of their activities and was impressed by the quality and by the dynamics of the people, and after I joined it, I fell in love with the work we do and the joy we express while doing it. I realised that's how community building should feel like: doing hard work while gaining joy from the people you work with and the work that you do. I started gaining an interest on the environment early on, because I was a girl scout and we were taught the importance of nature and how dependant we were on it for our survival, but it wasn't until 2 years ago when I started acting on my interest. I think a huge role on this played the tools of advocacy I learned at UNYA and from then on, I'm still trying to turn this advocacy into more concrete climate activism.

  • WHAT DOES THE PHRASE CLIMATE JUSTICE MEAN TO YOU?

Honestly, climate justice is essential to the climate movement because it acknowledges and exposes all the systems that are intertwined that are actively causing climate change such as capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy..ect, while also making the climate movement a more people-centred one. Especially focusing on vulnerable communities who have done the least of the damage but are going to suffer the most of the consequences, leading to the danger of their own existence. As long as you live in the Planet Earth, you are affected by climate change, but it drastically differs if you live in a small island that will not be there anymore or in a small village that risks life-threatenig floods and if you live in a penthouse in NYC and take private jets for 40 minutes car rides.

  • IF YOU COULD IMAGINE AN IDEAL COOPERATION BETWEEN THE SOCIAL AND CLIMATE MOVEMENTS, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE? (IN THE CASE OF ALBANIA)

Frankly, an ideal cooperation would be one where one movement (the climate one) is included in the other movements (the social one). The climate movement is a social movement because it was born from people's most basic desire: to live and to continue living in the future, and the social movements were born to make our life better. So these movements can co-exist with each other because social issues and climate change both affect our lives, despite one being seemingly more "for the Western part of the world" and one more tangible for us.

  • IN THIS FIELD, OUR WORK AS ACTIVISTS IS TO PROMOTE VALUES SUCH AS EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION. IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, DO YOU THINK THERE IS A PLACE FOR EVERYONE IN ACTIVISM?

Duh! It is even more important for people from all backgrounds to join the fight, because like we said everyone is affected by climate change but we are affected in different ways. Having spaces that create the opportunity for people to share their experiences and their best practicies is central to climate justice and frankly, social movements in general. I think it is even more important to not just create this spaces but also to know where to pass the mic to people who need it the most and to constantly check yourself if you are doing the utmost to make sure everybody is heard.

  • WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO START GETTING INVOLVED WITH THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT?

It is a long road ahead. One that has started before us and hopefully not, but maybe one that will surpass us. Climate change is a global issue and sometimes it is very hard to conceptualize how wide the world is when you are stuck in your local community work, which is central and important but at the end is only one part of the chain of solutions. My advice would be that the utmost work of the climate movement is the people, so focus on getting to know as many of them and listen to their story, gain their prespective and learn from their initatives. Connecting with people and taking action in our way is the best way we can tackle this gigantic monster caused by our own greed.

This interview comes as part of a series of interviews with climate campaigners and advocates in Albania, with the support of Youth and Environment Europe. 

Njoftim për shtyp: Letër drejtuar KE për gazin natyror në Ballkanin Perëndimor

Fossil gas pipeline illustrating Press Release Activists call on EU to stop promoting fossil gas dependence in the Western Balkans

Njoftim për shtyp
5 Prill 2022

Aktivistë i bëjnë thirrje BE-së të ndalojë mbështetjen e varësisë të Ballkanit Perëndimor ndaj gazit natyror


36 organizata të shoqërisë civile kanë dërguar sot një (1) letër të përbashkët (kliko për të lexuar letrën) drejtuar Presidentes të Komisionit Europian, Ursula von der Leyen, duke i bërë thirrje BE-së për të ndaluar promovimin e përdorimit të gazit natyror në Ballkanin Perëndimor.

Në këtë moment, rajoni është shumë më pak i varur nga gazi krahasuar me BE-në, e cila po përpiqet të lirohet nga importi i gazit pas pushtimit Rus në Ukrainë. (2)
Serbia, disa vende në Maqedoninë e Veriut dhe Bosnja Herzegovina përdorin gazin Rus, kryesisht për ngrohje. Shqipëria, Kosova, dhe Mali i zi nuk kane rrjet shpërndarjeje për gazin.

Pavarësisht faktit që Ballkani Perëndimor është zotuar për të nxjerrë nga përdorimi karburantet fosile deri në 2050 (3), Komisioni Europian përgjatë viteve të fundit ka inkurajuar rritjen e konsumimit të gazit natyror në rajon, kryesisht përmes korridorit jugor nga Azerbajxhani (4), pavarësisht se projekti i gazit “Shah Deniz” është 20% në pronësi të Lukoil të Rusisë (5).

Letra drejtuar Komisionit Europian bën thirrje për shtimin e investimeve për energji të rinovueshme të cilat janë neglizhuar në rajon, ku në vend të kësaj është duke u promovuar përdorimi i gazit natyror.

Denis Žiško, organizata Qendra Aarhus nga Bosnje Herzegovina, shprehet, “Promovimi i rritjes së përdorimit të gazit natyror në Ballkanin Perëndimor në këtë faze të krizës globale klimatike është e papërgjegjshme dhe aspak e dëshirueshme. Varësia jonë e ulët ndaj gazit natyror është një plus, jo minus, ndërsa shkojmë drejt elektrifikimit të sistemit të ngrohjes dhe transportit. Infrastruktura e re e ndërtuar së fundmi do të përfundojë si aset i bllokuara ose si një bllokazhë-gazi natyror që do të pengojë zhvillimin e burime të rinovueshme në rajon”


Nevena Smilevska, organizata Eko-Svest nga Maqedonia e Veriut, shprehet, ‘’Pavarësisht se mund të jetë nga Rusia, Azerbajxhan, apo diku tjetër, rritja e varësisë nga importi (i gazit natyror) është gjeja e fundit që na nevojitet - një fakt i marrë nga rritja e cmimit të të gazit përgjatë këtij dimri nga pushtimi i Rusisë në Ukrainë. Sikurse BE gjithashtu kupton së sigurimi i energjisë nuk mund të mbështetet vetëm në importin e gazit natyror, po ashtu Komisioni Europian duhet të ndalojë sa më parë promovimin e gazit natyror në Ballkanin Perëndimor.”


Nataša Kovačević, CEE Bankwatch, shprehet se “Rishikimi i humbjeve gjatë shpërndarjes së energjisë elektrike, rritja e pompave me nxehtësi dhe cative me panele diellore, apo teknologji e re për ruajtjen e nxehtësisë dhe rinovimi i rrënjësishëm i ndërtesave të banimit kanë nevojë për vëmëndje shumë të lartë nga Komisioni Europian për të kompensuar vitet e humbura për promovimin e gazit natyror”.


Kontaktet:
Pippa Gallop, Southeast Europe Energy Advisor, CEE Bankwatch Network
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+385 99 755 9787


Natasa Kovacevic, Campaigner for Decarbonisation of District Heating in Western Balkans
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+382 67 030 033

https://bankwatch.org/press_release/activists-call-on-eu-to-stop-promoting-fossil-gas-dependence-in-the-western-balkans

 

Media release: Open letter addressed to EC regarding fossil gas in WB region

Fossil gas pipeline illustrating Press Release Activists call on EU to stop promoting fossil gas dependence in the Western Balkans

Media release

5 April 2022

Today’s letter calls on the Commission to ramp up sustainable energy investments that are being neglected in the region, instead of continuing to promote fossil gas.

Denis Žiško from the Aarhus Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said, ‘Promoting increased fossil gas use in the Western Balkans at this stage of the global climate emergency is irresponsible and counterproductive. Our low gas dependency is a plus, not a minus, as we move towards electrification of heating and transport. New infrastructure built now will end up either as stranded assets or as a fossil gas lock-in that will hinder renewables development in the region’.

Nevena Smilevska of Eko-Svest in North Macedonia, said, ‘Irrespective of whether it is from Russia, Azerbaijan or elsewhere, increasing our import dependency is the last thing we need – a fact underlined by this winter’s gas price hikes and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As the EU finally realises that its own energy security cannot be based on fossil gas imports, so too must the Commission urgently stop promoting this dead end in the Western Balkans’.

Nataša Kovačević of CEE Bankwatch Network, said, ‘Tackling electricity distribution losses, increasing the use of heat pumps and rooftop solar, innovative heat storage technologies and deep renovation of residential buildings need much more high-level attention from the European Commission to make up for the years lost promoting fossil gas’.

Contacts

Pippa Gallop, Southeast Europe Energy Advisor, CEE Bankwatch Network

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+385 99 755 9787

 

Natasa Kovacevic, Campaigner for Decarbonisation of District Heating in Western Balkans

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+382 67 030 033

 

https://bankwatch.org/press_release/activists-call-on-eu-to-stop-promoting-fossil-gas-dependence-in-the-western-balkans

 

Online interactive dialogue meeting with CSOs for the concept of Energy poverty

WhatsApp_Image_2022-03-25_at_4.58.38_PM_1.jpg

Online interactive dialogue meeting with CSOs for the concept of energy poverty

On the 25th of March 2022, EDEN Center held an overarching online interactive dialogue meeting with CSOs representatives and e-ACT’s local coordinators based in 12 districts of the country. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the concept of assessment of energy performance based on the energy poverty concept. The meeting was attended by 24 attendees, representing +15 local CSOs based in different cities and regions of Albania, engaged in the environmental, energy, and EU integration process of the country.

The online dialogue for the introduction of assessment of energy performance based on the energy poverty concept started with an opening remark by the EDEN Project Coordinator, Mr Ergi Bregasi, who briefly introduced the overall aim of the “e-ACT” project and the agenda of the meeting.

Following this, the methodology of the assessment of the energy poverty state was shared with the attendees, where comments and suggestions were gathered for its improvement in order to obtain significant findings that will enrich the upcoming advocacy and lobbying discussions with state authorities in charge of energy and environmental issues. The assessment report on energy performance based on the energy poverty concept will support the advocacy efforts and participation of CSOs in the EU pre-accession process, specifically for chapter no.15 Energy. 

The online dialogue on energy poverty assessment methodology wouldn't be productive without the active participation and contribution of CSOs representatives, activists, and local coordinators. 

Web footer GEAR 1

The online interactive dialogue meeting with CSOs for the introduction of the energy poverty concept comes as part of the "Empowering Civil Society Activism and Concrete contribution into EU accession negotiation process in Albania", implemented by EDEN Center and EDMI, with the financial support of the European Union in the frame of IPA 2017 program.

#EnergyPoverty #eACT #EUfunded #IPA2017 #GreenPolicies #CSOs

Capacity building of CSOs (advocacy and watchdog for energy and climate issues)

Web post photos template 1

Capacity building of CSOs (advocacy and watchdog for energy and climate issues)

Throughout October 2021 - February 2022, EDEN Center organised a tailor-made training programme for environmental CSOs, with the purpose of building the capacities of CSOs to enhance their participation and involvement of CSOs in energy and climate issues, in the frame of the EU integration process of Albania, through environmental watchdog, advocacy coalition actions, etc.

The entire training programme was designed to build capacities of CSOs representatives on issues and tools such as - environmental watchdog, climate and energy policies, Chapter no.15 energy, advocacy and participation in the environmental decision-making process - to scale up their contribution and activism in the EU integration process of Albania.

More than +23 CSOs (focused on environmental, energy, climate and EU integration issues) benefited from the training programme. In addition, the training programme was attended by +15 free-lancer activists, experts, non-formal groups, etc.

The initial two training sessions took place in October 2021, with a particular focus on building a successful environmental watchdog campaign. During these training sessions, CSOs representatives were introduced to the main steps in embarking on a watchdog campaign - how to identify a problem that could be converted to a watchdog campaign, legal opportunities to scale up their participation in the environmental decision-making processes, planning and tools. (read more on the detailed article here)

The third training session took place on the 18th of March, with a particular focus on chapter no.15 Energy, Climate and Energy policies. The third training session was designed to provide an overview of the Albanian institutional set-up in charge of climate and energy policies and respective public documents (laws, strategies, action-plans, international duties, etc). The CSOs representatives were introduced to the challenges and opportunities of the progress of climate and energy policies according to the EU acquis. Following this, CSOs representatives worked with each other on drafting possible advocacy/watchdog campaigns to intervene for the improvement of these policies through coalition advocacy actions, campaigns, etc., by combining their previous experience with the gained knowledge during the training.

In order to ensure a sustained transfer of knowledge among environmental CSOs in Albania, an e-manual on "Environmental Watchdog" will follow up this training programme. 

Purple Welcome Google Classroom Header

The capacity-building programme for the CSOs representatives “Trainings on watchdogging, EU integration and energy chapter (15), participation in decision making and advocacy” comes as part of the "Empowering Civil Society Activism and Concrete contribution into EU accession negotiation process in Albania", implemented by EDEN Center and EDMI, with the financial support of the European Union in the frame of IPA 2017 program.