Dirty Hydro Parading as a Clean Technology at Climate Talks

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The problem with hydro trying to access this funding is that it is not a new technology, is already heavily subsidized, and needs no further help being competitive. Furthermore, the idea behind a global feed-in tariff is being pushed by the UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs as a way to close the energy poverty gap. If one plots access to energy (see figure) against the human development index, it is clear that access to energy improves the quality of life. At some point this relationship forms an asymptote.

Yet, dams actually displace those who are energy poor and puts them at an even greater disadvantage. The World Commission on Dams estimates that between 40 – 80 million people have been displaced by dams worldwide and only a small minority have been adequately compensated.

Unfortunately, it seems that the hydropower industry is still up to its usual dirty tricks co-opting climate change to breath life into a dying dinosaur technology. Luckily, International Rivers is keeping a close watch and dispelling their myths.