As the climate crisis accelerates, the hydropower industry is attempting to recast large dams as a climate-friendly energy source. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First, dam reservoirs (particularly in the tropics) are a globally significant source of methane, one of the world’s most potent greenhouse gases. Free-flowing rivers, on the other hand, play a crucial role in trapping carbon.
Second, dams are uniquely vulnerable to floods and droughts – which are only increasing in frequency and severity with climate change – raising the risk of dam failures during floods and power outages when reservoirs run dry.
Third, big dam reservoirs flood forests and agricultural land and destroy fisheries, while leaving downstream wetlands and forests dry. These impacts make it harder for indigenous and rural peoples, and the ecosystems they depend on, to adapt to climate change.
Our Work to Fight False Climate Solutions
We expose the truth about hydropower’s dismal performance in an era of climate change and campaign to prevent scarce climate dollars from financing destructive dams in the name of reducing carbon emissions. Instead, we propose a socially-just energy revolution to cut the use of fossil fuels, deliver modern energy to those who need it most, and preserve our life-giving rivers.
- Dirty Energy – Out of the Green Climate Fund (2015)
- Wrong Climate for Big Dams (2011) (Also available in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindi, Bangla, German, Urdu, Russian)
- Development Mechanism (2008)
- Do Large Dams Benefit the Environment? (The Rift, 2019)
- Press Release | COP27: Groups warn of severe climate and human rights risk of new hydropower dams and schemesDams and hydropower schemes create major loss and damage, including producing significant amounts of methane, biodiversity loss, and community displacement. In a warming world, droughts and flooding make hydropower an…
- Brazil’s Legislative Assembly approves a law draft that prohibits the construction of hydroelectric dams on the Cuiabá RiverYesterday, the Legislative Assembly of the State of Mato Grosso in Brazil approved the law draft that prohibits the construction of dams along the entire length of the Cuiabá River….
- 10 reasons why hydropower dams are a false climate solutionOriginally published in Alternet by Josh Klemm and Eugene Simonov Not only does hydroelectric power fail to prevent catastrophic climate change, but it also renders countries more vulnerable to climate change while…
- The youth say NO to destructive large hydropower! – Alternative development exists!By Ayesha DSouza, South Asia Program Coordinator. Mega Hydropower projects continue to be pushed in the fragile Indian Himalayas, often at the cost of the local communities and disguised as…
- Animación de la Mesa Ciudadana por un río San Pedro sin Represas refuerza la protección del río San Pedro, en ChilePor Isadora Soares Con sus 77 km de extensión, el hermoso paisaje del río San Pedro, en el sur de Chile, esconde la lucha silenciosa de la región contra el…