Author: Svilena Velcheva
Published On: 10/02/2020

Records of people demanding cleaner air met MPs and ministers before parliamentary scrutiny. The action was organized by Greenpeace – Bulgaria and the Ecological Association “For Earth”. Environmental advocacy demands included ending our dependency on coal plants by 2030 and a clear plan for our energy system without false and dangerous alternatives such as waste incineration.
“The energy sector in Bulgaria needs to be reformed quickly. While politicians waste time and take no action to develop the sector towards renewable energy, coal plants in Bulgaria are focusing on waste incineration. This poses major risks to human health, as the facilities are not designed for this, “said Meglena Antonova of Greenpeace – Bulgaria.
The activists demanded to terminate subsidies for power plants linked to businessman Hristo Kovachki seeing that burn waste or attempt to do so are actually receiving unfair and illegal support from the state. Other requests included training programs and entrepreneurship in the coal regions, as well as more specific and rigorous programs to tackle energy poverty.

“We call on all people who do not want to burn waste and coal in Bulgaria to make their own demonstrations for clean air. You need to organize friends, relatives, neighbors or colleagues and take pictures with your own message about clean air in front of a recognizable object in your or other village” Antonova added.
In recent years, many power plants in the country have started burning waste along with coal, which poses major risks to human health. These include the Republic in Pernik, the Bobov Dol TPP in the Big Village, the Brickel in Galabovo, the district heating in Sliven and others. Residents in these places regularly complain of smokers and soot on cars and homes.
In order to solve this problem, it is necessary not only to stop the incineration of waste, but to draw up a plan for changing our energy system, which clearly states what alternatives we want to orient ourselves to.
Available solutions include solar and wind, especially for households, small businesses and communities, smart consumption management, energy efficiency and energy conservation.
At the end of the demonstration, Desislava Mikova, Coordinator of the Climate and Energy Campaign, received a formal letter requesting cleaner air.
The demonstration is part of Greenpeace’s global campaign for cleaner air, running from late January to mid-February, as well as the local Greenpeace campaign for an energy transition to renewable energy.

Translator: Valentina Vagge