Mphanda Nkuwa Dam to Apply for CDM Credits?

By Payal Parekh

Downstream Dam Site
Downstream Dam Site

Southern African energy ministers are meeting later this week to discuss their regional renewable energy strategy, which includes accessing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Apparently, the Mphanda Nkuwa hydro power project in Mozambique plans to register under the CDM.

CDM projects must fulfill two requirements: they should be additional and promote sustainable development. Unfortunately the Mphanda Nkuwa hydro power project fails on both accounts. Since it has already been approved and is moving forward, it cannot be considered additional. If the sale of carbon credits through the CDM were crucial for the funding of the project, then it would not have already been approved.

Rather than contributing to sustainable development, the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam is a menace. In addition to displacing rural farmers, Mphanda Nkuwa would make downstream restoration through improved management of very difficult to achieve.

You can bet as soon as this project is open for public comments, we and our African partners will be deluging the CDM Executive Board with many comments!

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