Bulgaria is the only country in the European Union to be ranked in the Top 20 of the largest sulfur dioxide pollutants in the world. Serbia and Ukraine are the other two European countries of honor. 

The hotspots were tracked by a NASA satellite and analyzed in the latest Greenpeace survey - India, entitled "Global database of hotspots of SO pollution". Power plants and coal-burning industries, as well as those dependent on oil, are responsible for two-thirds of human activity's sulfur dioxide pollution. The main sources of sulfur dioxide in our country are the plants from the Marishka basin (the largest is the Maritza East 2 TPP and the oldest is the Brickel TPP) and the Bobov Dol TPP. 

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Sulfur dioxide (or SO2) is one of the most dangerous pollutants as it is one of the leading causes of death and disease. The map of the world's hot zones shows that industry needs to make the transition beyond coal as quickly as possible. 

 

"The ranking is a sad fact, which speaks to the reluctance of Bulgarian authorities to look at the facts. It is even sadder that with the price of everything, they keep the impression that coal dinosaurs are vital to the country. In fact, this puts us in front of an inevitable crisis as we delay the creation of national strategies for the regions and their development beyond coal, and the application for funds from the funds created for this purpose does not happen at all. "- said Meglena Antonova from Greenpeace - Bulgaria . 

Precisely because of the systematic neglect of sulfur dioxide standards, a lawsuit was filed against Bulgaria by the European Commission in late July. After the country was convicted in 2017 of high particulate matter standards, this is the second case against the country before the EU Court of Justice on air quality.

 

"Combustion of coal, oil and gas is the largest source of sulfur dioxide emissions, causing critical levels of pollution and premature death," says Laurie Millivirta, senior analyst at Greenpeace's Northern Europe office. "Renewable energy can save billions of euros in health costs, as well as thousands of lives every year. It is fundamental for governments to make a rapid transition beyond coal and to put in place strict standards for pollutants as they switch to renewable energy. "

 

Long ago, the claim about cheap coal energy in the Maritsa Basin is a myth - we remind that at the end of 2018 the government paid 360 million.[1], and a new financial injection of 600 million was discussed in the spring to save Maritza East 2 from bankruptcy. Since the beginning of this year the state power plant has produced a loss of 145 million.[2]

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