People & Power
From: People & Power

Valley of the Eordea

People & Power visits the most polluted region of Greece.

Greece’s Eordea valley is home to the most polluting power station in the EU

The Eordea Valley, in Greece’s northern Kozani region, is the energy hub of the country where two thirds of the nation’s electricity is produced.

The valley is one of the most industrial regions in Greece with a total five coal-fired power plants and the sixth biggest mine in the world. It is also the most polluted, and home to the most polluting power station in the EU.

The Valley of Eordea is a report looking at the lives of people who exist in the shadow of a polluting corporate giant. 

Helpless against an organisation crucial to the local economy, not to mention Greece’s energy needs, the residents’ health, natural environment and quality of life are suffering dismally. And as the majority of the Greek media continues to look the other way, the outlook for the sidelined people in this dirty corner of the EU looks bleak.

Last month following a seven month suspension for inadequate pollution testing, Greece was reinstated into the emissions trading system of the Kyoto protocol. UN officials claim that Greece is now in line with international standards.

Costing Carbon

Will the US adopt the same climate change policy as Europe?

Against the background of Barack Obama’s promise to instigate a strict ‘Cap and Trade’ carbon plan when he becomes US president, People & Power looks at the European experience and asks does the ‘Cap and Trade’ system pioneered by BP and Shell help the environment or is it just a money making tool?

Under the ‘Cap and Trade’ system businesses releasing greenhouse gases are issued carbon credits.

A cap level is then set to control the output of emissions and companies under their cap limit can trade in their excess credits for a considerable sum.

This means polluters are forced to buy expensive extra credits which angers environmentalists who view this as a capitalistic style trade off focusing on making money and not reducing emissions.

Ultimately the fear is that bad climate change policy from Europe might be adopted in other countries around the world, with disastrous effect.

This episode of People & Power airs from Saturday, December 20, 2008 at the following times GMT:
0130, 1230, 1930; Sunday: 0330, 1030, 2330; Monday: 0730