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’.


Pippa Gallop, Southeast Europe Energy Advisor, CEE Bankwatch Network

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+385 99 755 9787


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

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+382 67 030 033