Health groups call on the leaders of the Western Balkan countries to harmonize national air quality standards with the World Health Organization Global air quality guidelines. Health experts should be actively involved in these decision-making processes to ensure the timely integration of public health measures into environmental policies. Compliance with WHO recommendations brings multiple benefits – reduced incidence of chronic diseases and premature deaths, reduced overall health costs and, most importantly, better health and higher productivity of people.
As many governments prefer not to talk about or even hide the fact that they are funding fossil fuels, these awards aim to put these subsidies in the spotlight and increase pressure to phase them out. It is unfair to keep European citizens in the dark, when fossil fuel subsidies impact health and the environment.
HEAL has joined this campaign by the Climate Action Network Europe (CAN-E) as a jury member together with WWF Europe, Green Budget Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, CounterBalance, CEE Bankwatch, Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International. HEAL used its expertise on the health impacts of fossil fuel subsidies to help the jury develop the selection criteria for nominations.
The public voting period has started on April 10th, which means that you can now decide which of the nominated subsidies should receive an award for being especially polluting and damaging to health.
You can nominate a subsidy within the three selected categories:
• the deadliest subsidy, causing most harm to health
• the dirtiest subsidy, causing most environmental damage
• the sneakiest subsidy, being most hidden from the public eye
The fossil fuel subsidy awards aim to put especially harmful subsidies in the spotlight and increase pressure to phase them out. Click here to vote straight away or read some more on how it works below first.
How does it work?
The concept of the European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards is simple. All forms of fossil fuel subsidies (in Europe) are inefficient, harmful to our health and the environment and block the transition to clean energy systems. But some fossil fuel subsidies are obviously doing more harm than others, and the worst offenders deserve some well-earned public recognition so that we can increase the pressure to phase them out.
These are the candidates for worst subsidies:
• Poland misusing funds to reign as the King of Coal
• Obsolete German coal power plants paid to rest idle before closing down
• State guarantees for financing new coal in Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Czech export guarantee for Turkish coal power plant gone bust
• Feed-in tariffs for Slovakian domestic coal
• State owned Electricity Generation Utility developing new coal reserves in Turkey
• Families and forests forced to make room for coal mining in Romania
It is now time to vote!
Click here to vote and decide which of the worst subsidies should receive an award. Make sure you get your vote in by May 8. The awards will be handed out at an awards ceremony in Brussels on May 22. An event you do not want to miss!
Want to find out more about to Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards? Please visit HEAL’s special campaign website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.