Media Mentions

Mainland Dams Accused of Carbon Credit Scams

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Originally published in the South China Morning Post Environmental lobby group International Rivers has condemned the emergence of trade in fake carbon credits and says the biggest source is hydroelectric power projects on the mainland. Under what is known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, industrialised countries can support projects that decrease emissions in developing countries and then use the resulting emission reduction credits towards their own reduction targets. But International Rivers says the CDM is "failing miserably and is undermining the effectiven

Doubts Hound World Bank-Backed Dam as Its Turbines Start Up

Monday, April 5, 2010
Marwaan Macan-MarkarBANGKOK, Mar 25 (IPS) - It has been just over a week since the turbines came to life at Laos’ largest hydropower project, but questions are already dogging this World Bank showpiece that marks the financial institution's return to the business of big dams. *A leading environmental group has accused the Bank of failing to meet its obligations to help affected communities in the landlocked South-east Asian nation before the Nam Theun Two (NT2) project started supplying electricity to neighbouring Thailand on Mar. 15."Laos’ largest and most controversial hydropower project

For Whom the Mighty Mekong Flows

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Opinion Piece published in The Bangkok Post Since the end of last year, Jeerasak Intayos, a 38-year-old villager from Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai, has seen the Mekong River's level drop dramatically. Mr Jeerasak works with the Chiang Khong Conservation Group that has monitored the Mekong and its development for over a decade, and he has never seen the river this low. He witnesses first-hand how riverside communities are now suffering from declining fish catch, scarcity of water for drinking, irrigation and livestock, and how river transportation has been grounded, affecting to

Countries Blame China, Not Nature, for Water Shortage

Thursday, April 1, 2010 BANGKOK In southern China, the worst drought in at least 50 years  has dried up farmers? fields and left tens of millions of people short  of water. But the drought has also created a major public relations problem for  the Chinese government in neighboring countries, where in recent years  China has tried to project an image of benevolence and brotherhood. Farmers and fishermen in countries that share the Mekong River with  China, especially Thailand, have lashed out at China over four dams  that span the Chi

Eyewitness Account: China’s Dam Builders Go Global

China counts half of the world’s large dams within its borders, and is the biggest producer of hydropower. Throughout the 20th century, Western companies helped China build up its hydropower capacity. Yet in the huge Ertan and Three Gorges projects of the 1990s, China changed the rules of the game. Companies interested in the multi-billion dollar contracts had to manufacture half the turbines and generators on Chinese soil, in cooperation with Chinese partners. The leading hydropower firms of the time - including ABB, Alstom, General Electric and Siemens - complied, and transferred their

Quality issues pose threat to Sinohydro's global ambitions

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Originally published in the South China Morning Post It may have helped build the monumental Three Gorges Dam, but Sinohydro Group's attempt to engineer a successful A-share listing is proving an equally tough task. The engineering giant hopes the initial public offering in Shanghai - that could be one of the biggest share sales in the world - will establish it as a global brand. But holding back those ambitions is international criticism of its environmental and safety record as well as serious management problems. Its parent firm - where President Hu Jintao worked in the 1960s and 1970s -

Fury as Amazon rainforest dam approved by Brazil

Sunset on the Xingu
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sunset on the Xingu Monti Aguirre/IR Brazil has approved the controversial construction of a giant hydroelectric dam in the heart of the Amazon, defying a 20-year protest by indigenous and environmental campaigners who say that the project will devastate the surrounding rainforest and threaten the survival of local tribes. The Belo Monte project on the Xingu river, an Amazon tributary, was started in the 1990s but abandoned amid widespread protests at home and abroad. The rock star Sting led a campaign against the plan with tribal leaders, and revisited Brazil in November last year

Amazon Defender Gone

Friday, January 8, 2010
It was mentioned to me recently a story about people allegedly being forcefully kicked out of their homes in the interior of Brazil to make way for hydroelectric dam construction. While I have done stories like this in the past, the particular location was in an area I do not know well, but I felt it needed further examination. "I will call Glenn and check on it,” I responded reflexively. “He will know what the deal is." So on Wednesday afternoon I scribbled on a notepad on my desk, "CALL GLENN." "Glenn” is Glenn Switkes, the Latin America director for

Payal Talks About Climage Change on Reuters

  International Rivers climate scientist Payal Parekh was interviewed about climate change on the Reuters blog today from Copenhagen.  Take a look at the whole story on Ian Elwood is the Web Producer for International Rivers, he blogs at:

Down and Dirty: Farm Soil Will Offset Emissions in Australia's Carbon Cut Scheme

Monday, December 14, 2009
Originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald It was a candid remark in a private briefing. But unfortunately for the Government, comments by an Australian climate negotiator late last week in Copenhagen have pretty much let the cat out of the bag on where Labor intends to find any ambitious cuts to Australia's 2020 greenhouse gas emissions. Ironically, it will be in exactly the same places that the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, goes looking for his ''practical measures'' to solve climate change. And they will not be anywhere near the smokestacks of dirty coal-fired power stations or t


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