Gazeta Shqiptare: Platforms, environmentalist Mato: Parties are neglecting the environment, nothing for green development

By Ola Mitre

Thirty environmental organizations, spread throughout the country, are warning that over 70% of the political parties registered in the June 25 general elections have not made public their programs for the future economic, social and cultural development of the country. Meanwhile, in the public statements and promises of the leaders of these parties, the environmental policies that lead the country towards a sustainable economic development in line with the countries of the European Union are neglected, almost not mentioned at all. “This shortcoming constitutes a danger for the future we want and for the integration of the country and the Albanian citizens in the European Union”, it is said, among other things, in the statement signed by 30 civil society organizations.

Green development

(c) O. Mitre

The three parties that received the largest number of votes in the 2013 elections (PS, PD and LSI) have published their programs. Meanwhile, from a preliminary analysis, it turns out that the environment is not part of the “manifesto” presented by the Socialist Party. In the 32-page document, the vision for a number of sectors is included, but for green development, the policies that will be followed are not presented. This party has presented the program for a potential energy market, where, among other things, it is said that the diversification of energy sources and the addition of new hydro capacities will be aimed at, but it is not further specified how these policies are expected to be implemented, which combine with the aspect environmental. On the other hand, the program of the Democratic Party contains 26 points regarding the environment, tourism and forests. “Removing the obligation for environmental permits for small shops in residential areas, banning the use of riverbeds for inerts or banning illegal cutting of forests, are some of the points of this program.

Also, support is provided for environmental incentives, such as energy efficiency or the use of clean energy sources. When asked what the financial support means, the head of the Department of Environment in DP, Jamarbër Malltezi said that “The Department of Energy in DP and the Department of Finance have had in their program the promotion of renewable energies”. “We, as the Department of the Environment, will support alternatives, regarding renewable energy. For example, if we have proposals for waste-to-energy incinerators, we will become a burden. We will ask to do EIA studies with models from an international studio, because the pollution that is being caused in Elbasan is cancerous. Meanwhile, we will support renewable energy as much as we can”, added Malltezi during a conference for the presentation of the environment program.

Part of the PD program is also “revision of the policy and legislation of HPP concessions, strengthening the standards for the protection of nature”. “We must have a balance, not only for energy production, but also for the protection of nature. I am aware that there have been many permits issued for HPPs, which have encroached on protected areas. They absolutely need to be reviewed. In case we have encroachments on the central areas of the protected areas, we will have to change or revise the projects. There will also be cancellation of permits, in case the permits will be especially in protected areas, which enjoy a high protection status”, said Malltezi, adding that there is no figure for how much the number of 520 dams will be reduced. approved to be built.

You can find the full article published at Gazeta Shqiptare (in Albanian).

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