The Eurasian Climate Brief

Not in my backyard: The battle over Rio Tinto's Serbian lithium mine

December 15, 2021 Eurasian Climate Brief Team Season 1 Episode 9
The Eurasian Climate Brief
Not in my backyard: The battle over Rio Tinto's Serbian lithium mine
Show Notes

Rio Tinto, the world's second biggest mining company, has spent the last years coveting a lithium mining project in Serbia. Exploratory drills have already produced leaks, soiling crops and underground water in their wake. Meanwhile, president Aleksander Vučić has been one of the mine's most fervent cheerleaders, attempting to force through a law facilitating expropriations and weakening referenda standards.

But Serbian citizens are increasingly mobilising against it. Last week, mass demonstrations led the president to suspend such laws. Despite this, people are continuing to pour into the streets of Belgrade to demand the laws be dropped.

Our Serbian correspondents, Milica Šarić and Jelena Knežević, report live in Belgrade on the growing backlash against the project, while Natalie Sauer and Angelina Davydova talk to Savo Manojlović, the campaign director of one of the protests' organisers, Kreni Promeni.

At the time of recording Rio Tinto had not returned our requests for comment.

The Eurasian Climate Brief is a new podcast dedicated to climate news in the region stretching from Eastern Europe and Russia down to Caucasia and Central Asia. 

This episode is hosted by:

  • Natalie Sauer is a French British environmental journalist and MA student in Russian and Post-Soviet Politics at the School of Eastern European and Slavonic Studies, University College London. A former reporter for Climate Home News, her words have also appeared in international media such as Le Monde Diplomatique, Politico Europe, Open Democracy, Euractiv and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
  • Boris Schneider is a political economy and energy expert at n-ost, a Berlin-based network for cross-border reporting. Boris heads initiatives to boost climate journalism in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. 
  • Angelina Davydova is an environmental journalist from Russia. Angelina has been writing about climate change in the region for Russian and international media and attending UN climate summits since 2008. She also teaches environmental journalism and environmental and climate policy and communication in a number of universities and regularly organises training for journalists from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus on environmental and climate reporting.
  • Milica Šarić is a journalist for the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS)
  • Jelena Knežević is a radio journalist in Belgrade.

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