Our rivers are a source of life – and a coveted resource for corporations and governments. While most hydropower companies commit to protecting these ecosystems, there’s a significant gap between policies and performance.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) says that corporations bear direct responsibility for upholding human rights. Dam builders routinely run afoul of even weak national laws and policies, however, facing little accountability for the damage they cause. The cost is borne by those who can least afford it – rural communities, women and fragile ecosystems.
Our Work to hold the Hydropower Industry Accoutable
We work with communities to hold these companies accountable, documenting and exposing human rights abuses, harm and corruption. We advocate for redress, including through the judicial system. We engage with governments and financiers about private sector standards and safeguards. We press for a just energy transition.
Take Action for dam collapse victims
Thousands of people lost their homes when faulty construction led to a devastating dam collapse in southern Laos. Those responsible for construction of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower project must be held accountable.
- Swindling the Mekong: Run-of-River Hydro (2017) (Also available in Thai, Khmer or Vietnamese)
- US Congress Supports Environmental Justice in IFI Projects (2014)
- Activist Guides to Sinohydro’s Environment and Social Policies (2014)
- The World Bank’s Big Dam Legacy
- Greenwashing Dams (2011) (Also available in Português, Español, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Turkish, or Lao)
- Powering Conflict: An Analysis of Business and Human Rights Responsibilities in the Salween Basin (2020)
- Reckless Endangerment: Assessing Responsibility for the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam Collapse (2019)
- Watered Down: How do big hydropower companies adhere to social and environmental policies and best practices? (2019)
- Klamath Dam: PacificCorp must accept responsibility for removing its dams (Shoemaker, 2020)
- Chinese-built dam projects failing on environmental standards, green group International Rivers warns (2019)
- Migratory river fish populations plunge 76% in past 50 years (The Guardian, 2020)
- Statement | IHA Sustainability Prize Illustrates A Disconnect with Reality and Continued Greenwashing of DamsYesterday, during its biennial World Hydropower Congress, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) awarded its “Blue Planet” prize for sustainability to the Teesta-V hydropower project in India, noting it “met or…
- PRESS RELEASE | 300 organizations from 69 countries call on governments to not use climate funding for so-called “sustainable” hydropower schemes***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** Glasgow, Scotland— 300 organizations from 69 countries today launched a Rivers for Climate Global Declaration calling on governments and leaders attending COP26 to protect river ecosystems and…
- Press Release | Civil Society Groups Across Asia demand the ADB recalibrate its Draft Energy Policy in line with climate and community realities***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** Manila, Philippines –Civil society groups across South, Southeast and Central Asia are raising the alarm as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) gears up to announce a new…