Climate Initiatives must not include large hydropower projects, says 300 NGOs

Large hydropower projects emit massive amounts of methane, make water and energy systems more vulnerable to climate change, and cause severe damage to critical ecosystems and local communities.

A global manifesto released  by a coalition of more than 300 civil society organizations from 53 countries called on governments and financiers at the Paris climate talks to keep large hydropower projects out of climate initiatives such as the Clean Development Mechanism, the World Bank’s Clean Investment Funds, and green bonds.

Including such projects in climate initiatives crowds out support for true climate solutions such as wind and solar power which have become readily available, can be built more quickly than large dams and have a smaller social and environmental footprint.

For environmental, social and economic reasons, large hydropower projects are a false solution to climate change.

Peter Bosshard, International Rivers.


The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers from Todd Southgate on Vimeo.

Large hydropower projects are often propagated as a “clean and green” source of electricity by international financial institutions, national governments and other actors. They greatly benefit from instruments meant to address climate change, including carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), credits from the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds, and special financial terms from export credit agencies and green bonds. The dam industry advocates that large hydropower projects be funded by the Green Climate Fund, and many governments boost them as a response to climate change through national initiatives. For example, at least twelve governments with major hydropower sectors have included an expansion of hydropower generation in their reports on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Support from climate initiatives is one of the main reasons why more than 3,700 hydropower dams are currently planned and under construction around the world.

Further information:

The civil society manifesto, Ten Reasons Why Climate Initiatives Should Not Include Large Hydropower Projects, is available at www.internationalrivers.org/node/9204.


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