From: Balkans United for Clean Air
Prematures Death Due to Pollution – Balkans Are Worst Off

Air pollution in the Western Balkans causes a large number of premature deaths, and the consequences include shorter life expectancy and public health deterioration – it is therefore necessary to urgently improve both air quality and public health, by upgrading health systems. This was stated by the European Fund for the Balkans during this month’s implementation of the third phase of its “Balkans United for Clean Air” campaign with partners from the region.

The goal of this stage of the campaign is to inform the citizens about the consequences of pollution on mortality rates and health in the Western Balkans, and invite them to join the fight to improve air quality and prolong our lives.

According to the latest data by the European Environment Agency, poor air quality in the region causes more than 30,000 premature deaths, and the EU’s Joint Research Center points out the fact that air pollution on average contributes to the reduction of life expectancy between 0.4 and 1.3 years in the countries of the Western Balkans.

Studies also show that coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans alone account for economic damage ranging between €1.2 billion and €3.4 billion per year for healthcare costs.

The demands of the “Balkans United for Clean Air” campaign are as follows:

  • Define air pollution reduction as a national, regional and international priority and integrate it into all planning processes.
  • Increase budget funding for pollution control and establish systems to monitor pollution and its health effects.
  • Multisectoral partnerships at local, national and regional levels need to be built to enhance pollutant control and improve air quality.


Prevention of noncommunicable diseases resulting from poor air quality must be integrated among environmental and health policy priorities.

To help prolong life, join the struggle by Western Balkans citizens in solidarity and become a part of the   “Balkans United for Clean Air” campaign.

The “Balkans United for Clean Air” campaign was initiated by the European Fund for the Balkans in partnership with the following organizations: Eco Forum from Zenica, Environmental Territorial Management Institute from Tirana, Sbunker and Balkan Green Foundation from Pristina, Air Care from Skopje, OZON from Podgorica, Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute and Belgrade Open School from Belgrade. It takes place for the second year in a row, aiming to raise the awareness of the region’s citizens about the causes and consequences of pollution, possible ways of improving air quality and the struggle for a healthier environment. “Balkans United for Clean Air” emphasizes the necessity of regional cooperation for the transformation of the energy industry and the environmental protection system, which would improve both the economy and public health.