BIRN Albania Holds Roundtable on Energy

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The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania held a roundtable on energy on February 22 in Tirana, bringing together civil society organizations, environmental activists, experts and journalists working in the field of energy.

The roundtable was supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and aimed to create bridges between civil society organizations, experts and the media in order to enhance public debate on the future of a sustainable energy model in Albania, clean energy sources, transparency and corruption in the energy sector.

About 25 experts, representatives of civil society organizations and journalists were present at the meeting, highlighting the need for greater cooperation between civil society groups and the media in order to highlight for the general public important issues on the energy sector.    

The participants discussed the wildcat development in Albania’s hydropower sector, the use of green taxes by the government, the construction of hydropower plants in protected areas without proper environmental assessments, the lack of transparency and proper corporate governance of state-owned energy companies and the illegal sale of substandard fuels.

The experts and activists agreed that there is a need for greater cooperation between civil society groups in order to strengthen the public consultation process for energy projects, which is often formal and does not treat the public as a stakeholder.

The topics highlighted during the roundtable will help inform BIRN Albania’s upcoming call for investigative stories in the field of energy.