With national offices in Bucharest, NGOs Bankwatch and Greenpeace have long been active in Romania’s coalfields. Today both NGO’s are working closely with local governments in Gorj County – the nation’s lignite center – to help guide its transition into a renewable energy powerhouse. In this edition of the Romanian Power Move, lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum reviews how NGOs are assisting leaders on the ground to access Brussels-based support to fuel a green tech transformation within the nation’s most polluting region.
Weeks after agreeing to phase out coal, Bucharest struck a deal to convert an aging state-owned coal-fired power plant to burn locally-sourced “sustainable” biomass instead. But Romania’s forest-covered mountains are already suffering from illegal timber harvesting and biodiversity loss. Yet until this twist in the nation’s “decarbonization” plan, little biomass was burnt for electricity. Activists fear accelerated deforestation. Lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum reviews the development in his on-going Romanian Power Move series.