During the winter months Sarajevo regularly holds the infamous distinction of being the most polluted city in the world. Located in a basin surrounded by the Dinaric Alps, the city’s air fills with pollutants from the use of poor quality fuels for household heating, old cars on the roads, nearby industry and temperature inversion that prevents the smog from dissipating. According to the World Health Organisation, Bosnia is among the top three countries in the world with the highest mortality rate due to air pollution, with roughly 550 per 100,000 people dying from issues related to air contamination every year.
The European Union’s Green Deal initiative aims to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050, and includes provisions that could benefit neighbouring countries like Bosnia. Yet, as the country continues to struggle 25 years on from its brutal civil war, other issues have taken precedence over what is perceived as a potentially costly move to more stringent environmental standards.