Discussing Global Warming in Blustery Poland

Durga - Hindu female warrior
Durga - Hindu female warrior
Today, the UN climate conference began in Poznan, Poland. At the conference, government representatives will be tasked with further developing the roadmap to reach an international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Although Poland is not as warm and exotic as Bali (where the meeting was held last year), International Rivers's women water warriors (Barbara Haya, Payal Parekh and Ann-Kathrin Schneider) are there. Despite the cold weather, we will follow a number of hot topics related to dams, rivers and climate change.

Specifically, Barbara, one of the world's leading experts on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), will be making sure that the world understands why the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism has failed and how it could be replaced, as we have outlined in the new International Rivers’s factsheet, Rip-Offsets. There is a lot happening on the CDM at this year’s conference. Under negotiation are major changes to the current CDM, as well as negotiation over what the CDM will look like after the end of the Kyoto Protocol period in 2012.

Payal will be combating the International Hydropower Association's greenwash that hydropower is clean and green. Our new factsheet, Dirty Hydro shows that tropical hydropower can have an impact much worse than even the dirtiest fossil-fuel plants. She will also be pressuring officials from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to include greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower in national inventories. And the methodology that is adapted to account for these emissions must come from an unbiased scientific review, not an industry-funded research project, as the International Hydropower Association hopes.

Ann-Kathrin, our policy analyst based in Berlin, will join us midway through the negotiations. She will be letting bureaucrats from the European Union know that International Rivers is monitoring whether CDM credits awarded to dams entering the European Trading Scheme (ETS) comply with the Linking Directive, a European law that regulates the use of CDM credits within the ETS. The directive states that large hydro credits entering the ETS must comply with the criteria and guidelines of the World Commission on Dams. Ann-Kathrin will present new research from China showing that dam projects such as the Xiaoxi Dam do not comply with the World Commission on Dams and cause hardship for local people.

So stay posted! We will be updating this blog throughout the negotiations to keep you up-to-date on the juiciest details of the negotiations as they relate to dams, rivers and climate change.