Bringing the fight against dams to COP26

Sara Sax. Interview. High Country News Indigenous activists and allies are highlighting how dams harm the climate and Indigenous peoples worldwide. For two weeks, leaders and representatives from around the world have gathered in person and virtually in Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations’ 26th annual climate change summit, called the Conference of the Parties, or COP26. Six years ago, at COP21, nearly 200 countries signed the Paris Agreement, a groundbreaking pledge that strives to limit global temperatures to 2.7 Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) of warming. This year, one of ...

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Sara Sax. Interview. High Country News

Indigenous activists and allies are highlighting how dams harm the climate and Indigenous peoples worldwide.

For two weeks, leaders and representatives from around the
world have gathered in person and virtually in Glasgow, Scotland, for
the United Nations’ 26th annual climate change summit, called the
Conference of the Parties, or COP26. Six years ago, at COP21, nearly 200
countries signed the Paris Agreement, a groundbreaking pledge that
strives to limit global temperatures to 2.7 Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees
Celsius) of warming. This year, one of …

Paris worth a dam? » Solidarity » World Heritage Convention »

For many months peoples’ movements of Georgia assisted by highly efficient Georgian NGOs have been fighting a serious battle against a new megadam project conceived by Georgian Government, Norwegian Clean Energy Group and Turkish ENKA. The last important reinforcement came from scientists and conservation officials who helped to list sturgeons of Rioni river as the key value of World Heritage property “Colkheni Forests and Wetlands”. And finally the project started falling apart…

The Turkish builder of what was supposed to be the largest energy project in independent Georgia’s history has announced …

Essential Publications » Greening Silk Road » Paris worth a dam? » Solidarity »

Cartoon about the Snowy-2 PSH Project in Australia

(Full Contents of Hydropower Policy BRIef here)

As
for the pumped storage hydro (PSH),
much hyped as a remedy for grid stability and flexibility, which also usually
has less destructive footprint, only 1633 MW were put in operation in 2020, despite
all hopes trumpeted by hydropower industry and personally by former Australia
PM Malcolm Turnbull. In practice this means that most countries balance uneven
output of ‘variable renewables” by other means ranging from building batteries
to smart use of large grids (See Hydropower
Market Report with such …

Essential Publications » Greening Silk Road » Paris worth a dam? » Solidarity »

(Full Contents of Hydropower Policy BRIef here)

2020 HYDROPOWER EXPANSION IN SELECTED COUNTRIES

Eurasia

           CHINA

Almost
two thirds of globally installed hydropower (12.5GW) was added in China, where
hydropower capacity reached 370 GW, wind power – 280 GW and photovoltaic – 250 GW.
In 2020 most of increase accounts for completion of a giant 10 GW Wudongde
Dam and greater addition is expected in 2021-23 due to completion of the 16 GW
Baihetan dam on upper Yangtze River (Jinshajiang). As a result of 50 years of
dam building and poorly coordinated development the ecosystem …

Essential Publications » Featured » Greening Silk Road » Paris worth a dam? » Solidarity »

International Hydropower
Association Reveals “Good Practice” Guide for (Damming) Protected Areas

It looks like the hydropower
industry is getting on nerves of the big international NGOs (BINGOs) who have “cooperated”
with the IHA for a decade in common search for “sustainable hydropower”.
And there was a good reason for that at a webinar held on September 21 by the
industry association to present its historic commitments.

The new “historic commitment”
taken on by the industry promises to spare from dam-building only World
Heritage but continue to dam protected areas and remaining free-flowing rivers
(in a sustainable manner). Commitment born after …

Essential Publications » Greening Silk Road » Paris worth a dam? » Solidarity »

Yebatan Hydro under construction

(Full Contents of Hydropower Policy BRIef here)

Unfortunately, modest development of greenfield hydropower in 2020 again came at the cost of destruction of irreplaceable natural areas and suffering of local communities in countries where those dams have been built. It also often exacerbated transboundary tensions, fuelled corruption and economic crisis. Using the River without Boundaries database we examined for which countries championing in 2020 we can present recent evidence of persistent generic problems in hydropower development policies and practices.

Table 3. Hydropower related problems in 2020 hydropower …

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