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282 Civil Society Organizations Oppose the CBI’s Climate Bonds for Hydro

10 December 2019 Topics:

In September the RwB Coalition published ” Our Response to the Climate Bond Initiative’s Attempt to “Climatewash” Hydropower “. Now 281 CSOs from 75 countries representing all major river basins of the world joined forces in a call to Climate Bonds Initiative to abandon proposed Standard for Hydropower, which has nothing to do with genuine climate mitigation efforts. Their statement is also available in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Portuguese (note: those are earlier releases with 276 signatories). At Climate COP 25 in Madrid this issue will be raised at events where CBI is speaking.

Civil Society Statement: Climate Bonds Initiative must abandon its misguided attempt to greenwash hydropower

On behalf of 276 civil society organizations from around the world, we are calling upon the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) to abandon the certification of destructive hydropower projects as climate-friendly. The proposed hydropower criteria developed by CBI and its technical working group fall far short of acceptable standards and practice, and their adoption would pose a significant threat to rivers and the communities and freshwater species that depend on them.

If adopted, the CBI’s hydropower criteria would risk opening up a funding source that could prove profitable to dam operators and institutional investors with Paris-friendly branding, while making no meaningful contribution to stemming the climate crisis. Beyond permitting projects with dubious value to attract a new line of financing, the greatest risk of the proposed criteria is channeling scarce climate dollars toward projects that fail to help us confront the challenge of preventing a 2oC scenario and that exert increased pressure on freshwater biodiversity and the functioning of our water cycle.

In its eagerness to capitalize on the expanding market for climate-certified energy projects, the Climate Bonds Initiative has aligned itself with the International Hydropower Association (IHA), an industry body created to promote the interests of hydro companies and boost their image. In recent years, the IHA has rolled out a series of tools and guidance and advocated their use in lieu of established international standards and mechanisms for assessing the costs and benefits of hydropower.

The adverse environmental and social impacts of destructive hydroelectric dams are now well understood, ranging from displacing and impoverishing millions, particularly indigenous peoples, to driving the extinction of freshwater species and fragmenting rivers. Yet the CBI proposes to adopt the IHA’s own environmental, social and governance assessment tool as their principal source of assessment and verification. This would amount to little more than a box ticking exercise conducted by assessors accredited by the IHA itself – a glaring conflict of interest that lacks any meaningful oversight – making a mockery of international standards and conventions designed to protect rivers and the rights of communities. This would also be at odds with positive approaches adopted within the existing CBI standard for water infrastructure.

Besides profound damage to the hydrosphere – an important part of global climate system – hydropower reservoirs emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases, especially in the tropics. Dam reservoirs emit methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas, and are a significant contributor to the climate crisis. Yet CBI’s proposed criteria set such a low bar that even high-emitting dams would qualify for CBI certification. This problem is compounded by CBI’s proposal to use the IHA’s own non-transparent emissions calculation tool, which systematically underestimates the greenhouse gas emissions from dams. Methane emissions from dams are highest in the first years of operation, thus incentivizing hydropower would contribute to a spike in emissions at the precise moment the world is trying to reduce GHG emissions to arrest the worst impacts of climate change.

Climate financing has the potential to play a critical role in ensuring positive outcomes for rivers. This could include: protecting threatened freshwater resources; restoring flows that facilitate reconnection of fragmented ecosystems; ensuring cultural and environmental flows determined in consultation with affected peoples; and promoting river restoration efforts such as the decommissioning of obsolete dams. This is of utmost importance because our freshwater resources are vital to sustain in an era of climate change. The CBI has already issued a separate standard for water infrastructure, which took an important step to help promote nature-based solutions to addressing climate change.

CBI’s hydropower criteria, on the other hand, would represent a step backward, sanctioning business-as-usual energy practices that further threaten our rivers. If approved, it would exacerbate global threats to freshwater biodiversity, undermine the cultural values and human rights of affected communities, and fail to make progress toward addressing the climate crisis. It would at the same time damage the reputation of the Climate Bonds Initiative and contribute to discrediting green bond finance mechanisms in general. Therefore, we call upon the CBI, its board and advisory bodies to abandon their pursuit of a hydropower standard that caters to the hydropower industry instead of providing meaningful solutions to address the climate crisis.

This statement is also available in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Portuguese

Endorsing Organizations:

  • 1.           Abibiman Foundation, Ghana
  • 2.           Action for Improvement of Food Child and Mother (AFICM), DRC
  • 3.           Actions pour les Droits, l’Environnement et la Vie (ADEV), DRC
  • 4.           Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), Cambodia
  • 5.           Alternatives Durables pour le Développement, Cameroon
  • 6.           Älvräddarnas Samorganisation, Sweden
  • 7.           Amazon Watch, United States
  • 8.           Amigos de la Tierra España (FoE Spain)
  • 9.           Amigos del Viento Meteorología Ambiente Desarrollo, Uruguay
  • 10.       Amis de l’Afrique Francophone (AMAF)-Benin
  • 11.       Apt Succor Organization, South Sudan
  • 12.       Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment, Armenia
  • 13.       Arnika, Czech Republic
  • 14.       Asamblea por la Defensa del Río Tajo de Aranjuez, Spain
  • 15.       Asociacion Ambiente y Sociedad, Colombia
  • 16.       Association “Baikal Trail-Buryatia”, Russia
  • 17.       Association des Jeunes pour le Développement, Mauritania
  • 18.       Association for Promotion Sustainable Development, India
  • 19.       Association of patriotic upbringing “Master of His Land”, Russia
  • 20.       Associazione Salvaguardia Val Mastallone, Italy
  • 21.       ATTAC, France
  • 22.       Balkani Wildlife Society, Bulgaria
  • 23.       Balkanka Association, Bulgaria
  • 24.       Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA)
  • 25.       Bank Information Center, United States
  • 26.       Bank Information Center Europe, The Netherlands
  • 27.       Barwaaqo Voluntary Organisations, Somaliland
  • 28.       Biodiversity Conservation Center, Russia
  • 29.       Biofuelwatch, UK
  • 30.       Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia
  • 31.       Black Sea Women’s Club, Ukraine
  • 32.       Both ENDS, The Netherlands
  • 33.       Bretton Woods Project, UK
  • 34.       Brot Für Die Welt, Germany
  • 35.       Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organisation (BIRUDO), Uganda
  • 36.       Buryat Regional Union for Baikal (BRUB), Russia
  • 37.       Cambodian Volunteers for Society (CVS), Cambodia
  • 38.       Carbon Market Watch, Belgium
  • 39.       Centar za životnu sredinu/ Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 40.       Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD), Bangladesh
  • 41.       Center for Protection and Research of Birds, Montenegro
  • 42.       Center for Water Resources Conservation and Development (WARECOD), Vietnam
  • 43.       Centre de Formation et d’Action pour le Développement (CFAD), DRC
  • 44.       Centre for Environment, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • 45.       Centre for Financial Accountability, India
  • 46.       Centre for Initiative Against Human Trafficking (CIAHT-Ghana)
  • 47.       Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur, India
  • 48.       Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.”, Ecuador
  • 49.       Centro ibérico de restauración fluvial CIREF, Spain
  • 50.       CESTA Amigos de la Tierra, El Salvador
  • 51.       China-Latin America Sustainable Investments Initiative
  • 52.       Christian International Eswatini
  • 53.       Circolo Legambiente Val Trebbia, Italy
  • 54.       CIRF – Italian Centre for River Restoration
  • 55.       Citizens’ Committee of Tonegawa Basin, Japan
  • 56.       Clean Water Center, Russia
  • 57.       Climate Watch Thailand
  • 58.       Coalition for Rivers, Czech Republic
  • 59.       Coalition for Sustainable Development (KOR), Montenegro
  • 60.       Colonia Z-16 De Pescadores, Brazil
  • 61.       Comitato Difesa Torrente Pesarina, Italy
  • 62.       Comitato No Tube Piacenza, Italy
  • 63.       Comitato per la Salvaguardia e Tutela di Cortlys, Italy
  • 64.       Comitato Peraltrestrade Dolomiti, Italy
  • 65.       Committee for Water in Tokyo, Japan
  • 66.       Commons and Safeguards, Philippines
  • 67.       Commons BC, Canada
  • 68.       Community and Family Aid Foundation-Ghana
  • 69.       Community Empowerment and Social Justice (CEMSOJ) Network, Nepal
  • 70.       Community Resource Centre Foundation (CRC), Thailand
  • 71.       Conseil Regional des Organisations Non Gouvernementales de Développement, DRC
  • 72.       Conservación Humana AC, Mexico
  • 73.       Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF-Brazil)
  • 74.       Coordinadora Ciudadana No Alto Maipo, Chile
  • 75.       Coordinamento Nazionale Tutela Fiumi-Free Rivers Italia
  • 76.       Crimean Republican Association Ekologiya i Mir, Russia
  • 77.       Culture and Environment Preservation Association, Cambodia
  • 78.       DOPPS-BirdLife Slovenia
  • 79.       Društvo narava Pohorja, Slovenia
  • 80.       Društvo za raziskovanje, ohranjnje in trajnostni razvoj Dinaridov Dinaricum, Slovenia
  • 81.       Druzhina okhrany prirody Dzerzhinska, Russia
  • 82.       Earth Rights International, Thailand
  • 83.       EcoAlbania
  • 84.       Ecological Association ”Rzav-God Save Rzav”, Serbia
  • 85.       Ecological Center DRONT, Russia
  • 86.       Ecological Society of Sokobanja, Serbia
  • 87.       Ecosistemas, Chile
  • 88.       Eko “Bistro”, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • 89.       Eko Element, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • 90.       Ekologistak Martxan, Basque Country
  • 91.       EMACE Foundation of Sri Lanka
  • 92.       Environmental Center for Development Education and Networking (EDEN Center), Albania
  • 93.       Environnement Sans Frontière (ESF), DRC
  • 94.       EPN Consultants Limited, Jamaica
  • 95.       Estrategia – Center of Investigation and Action for Urban Development, Peru
  • 96.       EuroNatur Foundation, Germany
  • 97.       European Water Movement
  • 98.       Eyge Environmentai Education Center, Russia
  • 99.       FightC, Canada
  • 100.    Fisheries Action Coalition Team, Cambodia
  • 101.    Fobomade, Bolivia
  • 102.    Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India
  • 103.    Fórum Mato-grossense de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (Formad), Brazil
  • 104.    Fórum Mudanças Climáticas e Justiça Socioambiental (FMCJS), Brazil
  • 105.    Fórum Nacional da Sociedade Civil nos Comitês de Bacias Hidrográficas (FONASCCBH), Brazil
  • 106.    Forum nazionale Salviamo il Paesaggio, Italy
  • 107.    Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines
  • 108.    Friends of Lake Turkana, Kenya
  • 109.    Friends of the Earth U.S.
  • 110.    Friends with Environment in Development, Uganda
  • 111.    Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN), Argentina
  • 112.    Fundacion Cauce: Cultura Ambiental, Causa Ecologista, Argentina
  • 113.    Fundacion Chile Sustentable, Chile
  • 114.    Fundación Global Nature, Spain
  • 115.    Fundación La Hendija, Unidad de Vinculación Ecologista, Argentina
  • 116.    Fundación Montecito, Colombia
  • 117.    GAIA Kosovo
  • 118.    Gautam Buddha Jagriti Society, India
  • 119.    GEADIRR, Cameroon
  • 120.    GegenStroemung – CounterCurrent, Germany
  • 121.    Global and Community Action Team at Kamloops United Church, Canada
  • 122.    Global Forest Coalition
  • 123.    Global Non-State Actors Disaster Risk Reduction Network, Kenya
  • 124.    Global Rights, Nigeria
  • 125.    Good Choice Nepal
  • 126.    Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, inc, Canada
  • 127.    Green Advocates International, Liberia
  • 128.    Green Alternative, Georgia
  • 129.    Green Innovation and Development Centre, Vietnam
  • 130.    Grow with the Flow, The Netherlands
  • 131.    Guild of Environmental Journalist of the St.Petersburg and Leningradskaya Province, Russia
  • 132.    Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC, United States
  • 133.    Holarctic Bridges, Canada
  • 134.    HOPE Worldwide-Pakistan, New Zealand
  • 135.    HRM “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan”
  • 136.    ibdnext technoprise, Bangladesh
  • 137.    Inclusive Development International, United States
  • 138.    Initiative for the Development of Africa (IDA-Ghana)
  • 139.    Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, North (Turkish) Kurdistan
  • 140.    Institute for Environmental Policy, Albania
  • 141.    Instituto Caracol, Brazil
  • 142.    Instituto Madeira Vivo (IMV), Brazil
  • 143.    Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA)
  • 144.    International Accountability Project (IAP)
  • 145.    International Rivers
  • 146.    Interregional NGO “Center for Public Health”, Russia
  • 147.    JAGO NARI (Fighting For Women Empowerment), Bangladesh
  • 148.    Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya
  • 149.    Japan River Keeper Alliance
  • 150.    Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement, Togo
  • 151.    Jhanjira Samaj Kallyan Sangstha (JSKS), Bangladesh
  • 152.    KAIROS BC-Yukon, Canada
  • 153.    Keepers of the Athabasca, Canada
  • 154.    Kostroma Public Movement “For the sake of life”, Russia
  • 155.    Koubaru Project, Japan
  • 156.    Krisoker Sor (Farmers’ Voice), Bangladesh
  • 157.    KRuHA, Indonesia
  • 158.    Legambiente Piacenza Circolo Emilio Politi, Italy
  • 159.    LIR Evolution, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • 160.    Local Initiatives Development Agency, Kenya
  • 161.    LUTRA, Institute for Conservation of Natural Heritage, Slovenia
  • 162.    Manadisaster Organization, Rwanda
  • 163.    Manushya Foundation, Thailand / Laos
  • 164.    Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), Greece
  • 165.    Mekong Watch, Japan
  • 166.    Mesopotamia Ecology Movement, North (Turkish) Kurdistan
  • 167.    Milwaukee Riverkeeper, United States
  • 168.    MISEREOR – Catholic Bishop’s Organisation for Development Cooperation, Germany
  • 169.    Mom Loves Taiwan Association, Taiwan
  • 170.    Movimento Tutela Arzino, Italy
  • 171.    Multi-stakeholders Initiative for Humanitarian Action against Disasters (MIHANDS), Philippines
  • 172.    Museu Goeldi, Brazil
  • 173.    Nak Akphivath Sahakum (NAS), Cambodia
  • 174.    NGO BROC, Vladivostok, Russia
  • 175.    NGO Forum on ADB
  • 176.    NGO Forum on Cambodia
  • 177.    NGO Green Home, Montenegro
  • 178.    NGO Leeway Collective as Balkan River Defence, Slovenia
  • 179.    North American Megadams Resistance Alliance
  • 180.    North Caucasus Environmental Watch, Russia
  • 181.    Olympic 2002 – Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  • 182.    OMEP (World Organisation for Early Childhood Education) Cameroon
  • 183.    ONG ANAD, Mauritania
  • 184.    ONG Mer Bleue, Mauritania
  • 185.    ONG PADJENA, Benin
  • 186.    Onggi River Movement, Mongolia
  • 187.    Operação Amazônia Nativa (OPAN), Brazil
  • 188.    Oyu Tolgoi Watch, Mongolia
  • 189.    Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
  • 190.    Pambansang Kliusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA), Philippines
  • 191.    Pashan Baner Tekdi Bachao Kruti Samiti, India
  • 192.    Peace Bridges Organization, Cambodia
  • 193.    Peace Valley Environment Association, Canada
  • 194.    Peace Valley Landowner Association, Canada
  • 195.    Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance, Canada
  • 196.    People and Nature Reconciliation, Vietnam
  • 197.    PIAD, DRC
  • 198.    Pindos Perivallontiki, Greece
  • 199.    Planète Amazone, France
  • 200.    Plataforma contra la especulación urbanística y ambiental de Candeleda, Spain
  • 201.    Plataforma Contra las Interconexiones Eléctricas RECAEL, Spain
  • 202.    Plataforma de Toledo en Defensa del Tajo, Spain
  • 203.    Plataforma por el Hospital Comercial en el Valle del Tiétar, Spain
  • 204.    Plotina.Net, Russia
  • 205.    Poets for the Peace, Canada
  • 206.    Pravo na vodu / Right To Water, Serbia
  • 207.    PREPARED, Pakistan
  • 208.    Projeto Saude e Alegria, Brazil
  • 209.    Pune SPNF, India
  • 210.    PVLA, Canada
  • 211.    Radanar Ayar Association, Myanmar
  • 212.    Ramsar Network Japan
  • 213.    RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs), Canada
  • 214.    Red por los Ríos Libres, Chile
  • 215.    Red Uruguaya de ONGs Ambientalistas, Uruguay
  • 216.    Rede Pantanal e a Ecoa, Brazil
  • 217.    Respiro Verde Legalberi, Italy
  • 218.    River Intellectuals, The Netherlands
  • 219.    Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition
  • 220.    Rivers without Boundaries-Mongolia
  • 221.    Riverwatch, Austria
  • 222.    Russian Socio-Ecological Union (RSEU)
  • 223.    Sakhalin Environment Watch, Russia
  • 224.    Salviamo il Paesaggio Valdossola, Italy
  • 225.    Salviamola Fuina, Italy
  • 226.    SAVE Rivers, Malaysia
  • 227.    Save The Tigris Campaign, Iraq
  • 228.    Say “No” to Site C Dam, Canada
  • 229.    Scientists4Mekong, Australia
  • 230.    Secure Future Africa, Zimbabwe
  • 231.    SFBSP-Burundi
  • 232.    Slovene Dragonfly Society (Slovensko odonatološko društvo), Slovenia
  • 233.    Slovenian Native Fish Society (Društvo za preučevanje rib Slovenije)
  • 234.    Snowfinch, L’Aquila, Italy
  • 235.    Society for Cave Biology, Slovenia
  • 236.    Socio-Ecological Union International
  • 237.    South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (SANDRP), India
  • 238.    Stop Site C, Canada
  • 239.    Sukaar Welfare Organization, Pakistan
  • 240.    Sustainable Eel Group, UK
  • 241.    T.e.r.r.a srl, Italy
  • 242.    Taiga Research and Protection Agency, Russia
  • 243.    Tajik Social and Ecological Union, Tajikistan
  • 244.    Tatarstan Socio-ecological Union, Russia
  • 245.    Terre des Jeunes (TDJ), Burundi
  • 246.    The Corner House, UK
  • 247.    The Jordanian Society of Friends of Heritage, Jordan
  • 248.    The Slovenian Association for Bat Research and Conservation, Slovenia
  • 249.    Tinada Youth Organization (TIYO), Kenya
  • 250.    TOKA Albania
  • 251.    Tonle Sap Lake Waterkeeper, Cambodia
  • 252.    Toxic Action Network Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • 253.    TRADENER, Basque Country
  • 254.    Tri-People’s Organization against Disasters (TRIPOD), Philippines
  • 255.    Udruženje “Temska”, Serbia
  • 256.    Udruženje za zaštitu velike droplje, Serbia
  • 257.    Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative (CBHI), Nigeria
  • 258.    urgewald, Germany
  • 259.    Vasundhara Swachhata Abhiyan, India
  • 260.    Vietnam River Network
  • 261.    VRAT, India
  • 262.    Water Justice and Gender, Peru
  • 263.    Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Canada
  • 264.    Wetland Conservation Centre (Centrum Ochrony Mokradeł), Poland
  • 265.    Witnessradio.org, Uganda
  • 266.    World Heritage Watch, Germany
  • 267.    World Vision Lanka, Sri Lanka
  • 268.    World Wetland Network, Australia
  • 269.    WWT, UK
  • 270.    Yamba Dam Project, Japan
  • 271.    Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, India
  • 272.    Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation), Nepal
  • 273.    Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP), Cambodia
  • 274.    Zoldo c’è e difende i suoi torrenti, Italy
  • 275.    #SomosMaipo, Chile
  • 276.    4x4x4 Balkan Bridges, North Macedonia
  • 277. Sierra Club BC, Canada
  • 278. Jasy Renyhe, Bolivia
  • 279. CEE Bankwatch Network, Czech Republic
  • 280. Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania, Albania
  • 281. EcoLur Informational NGO, Armenia
  • 282. Wa Ni Ska Tan, Canada

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