Fact sheet

The Power of Negawatts: Energy Efficiency

The Power of Negawatts
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Reducing the impact of our use of energy is one of the key technical, political, and even moral challenges facing human society in this century. While our sources of energy have to be made cleaner, our first priority must be to use energy more efficiently. Efficiency measures are cheaper, cleaner and faster to install than any other energy option. And we lose nothing in the bargain – the point of efficiency is to allow us the same levels of productivity or comfort, but with less power.

Patagonia's Wild Rivers At Risk

Patagonia's Wild Rivers at Risk
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Please download the 2011 version of the Patagonia factsheet for the most up to date information on the campaign. Download the 2009 Patagonia Campaign factsheet for more information and background on the fight to protect Patagonia from plans to build 5 dams.

Dirty Hydro: Dams and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Dirty Hydro
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Hydropower is often believed to be an inherently "climate-friendly" technology. But scientific studies indicate that the rotting of organic matter in reservoirs produces significant amounts of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. The warming impact of tropical reservoirs can be much higher than even the dirtiest fossil-fuel power plants. Download the factsheet to learn more about the different types of greenhouse gases that are being emitted, how reservoirs produce them, and how key regions and hydropower projects are contributing to global warming.Read the fact shee

Rip-Offsets: The Failure of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism

Rip Offsets
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is supposed to catalyze climate-friendly projects in low-income countries by allowing developers to generate revenue by selling "carbon credits" or "offsets." The offset buyers - industrialized country companies and governments - use the credits to show compliance with Kyoto Protocol-mandated emissions reductions. Because of the CDM's structural flaws and cheating by project developers, billions of dollars worth of credits are being sold by projects that never needed assistance from the CDM to be built. In the short-term the CDM must be radically improved;

Trading in Fake Carbon Credits: Problems with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Written by Barbara Haya (International Rivers) and Karen Orenstein (Friends of the Earth) What is the CDM? The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is the world's biggest carbon offsets market. In theory, the CDM allows industrialized countries to support projects that decrease emissions in developing countries and then use the resulting emissions reduction credits towards their own reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. Industrialized countries supported the establishment of the CDM because it would provide them with flexibility in how they can meet their Kyoto targets, particularly if dome

Three Gorges Dam: The Cost of Power

Three Gorges Dam
Monday, October 20, 2008
Please download the 2012 updated version of the fact sheet, Three Gorges Dam: A Model of the Past The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s most notorious dam. The massive project sets records for number of people displaced (at least 1.3 million), number of cities and towns flooded (13 cities, 140 towns, 1,350 villages), and length of reservoir (more than 600 kilometers). Yet this once glittering monument to China’s might is fast becoming a symbol of government folly. The project has been beset by corruption, human rights violations and spiraling costs, and the environmental impacts are rapidly

Don Sahong Dam Fact Sheet

Don Sahong
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The proposed Don Sahong Hydropower Project is located on the Mekong River’s mainstream in the Siphandone area of southern Laos, less than two kilometers upstream of the Laos-Cambodia border. The Don Sahong Dam threatens the rich local subsistence and commercial fisheries in Laos and could also impact fisheries in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, with repercussions for food security and the region’s economy. Read a fact sheet prepared by International Rivers and the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia in English, Thai and Khmer.

Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project: Risky Business For Laos

Sunday, June 15, 2008
International Rivers' briefing paper describing the Nam Theun 2 project, its unsettled questions and broken promises, at the time of reservoir filling. Download the briefing paper

10 Questions on Grand Inga

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Prepared for WEC Inga Financing Workshop, 21-22 April 2008 Revenue Management. DR Congo has been plagued by mismanagement of natural resource revenues through a lack of fiscal transparency and corruption. 1. What requirements and evaluation processes will be put in place to ensure sound revenue management prior to the construction of Inga 3 and Grand Inga? “Model” Projects. Three Gorges (China), Itaipu (Brazil), and Nam Theun 2 (Laos) dams are being put forth by Grand Inga's promoters as "model projects" for Grand Inga to emulate. Yet these projects have been marked by poorly managed s

The World Commission on Dams Framework - A Brief Introduction

Friday, February 29, 2008
With support from the World Bank and IUCN, the independent World Commission on Dams (WCD) was created in May 1998. Its mandate was to review the development effectiveness of dams, and to develop standards and guidelines for future dams. The Commission was chaired by South Africa’s water minister Kader Asmal and consisted of twelve members from governments, industry, academia, and civil society. During its two-year lifetime, the WCD carried out the most comprehensive evaluation of large dams ever done to date. It commissioned 130 technical papers, studied seven dams and three dam-building c


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