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Seminar series 3 "Water for all ?!” – Hydropower: a wooden path for climate change and development policy


Seminar 3: Hydropower  

A wooden path for climate change and development policy


The third event deals with hydropower, which despite its long known problematic effects is still referred to as regenerative energy and is promoted as an alternative to the conversion of fossil fuels into electricity and as a contribution to climate protection. Yet the rapidly increasing number of small hydropower plants in Europe in particular make only an extremely small contribution to electricity production. Moreover, hydropower causes enormous social and ecological problems: dams are among the main causes of global species extinction, they reduce the sediment load of rivers, increase river erosion and destroy important ecosystems and agricultural land.

At the same time, hydropower plants are by no means climate neutral, but are a source of strong greenhouse gases such as methane and destroy important carbon sinks. Moreover, they have negative consequences for adaptation to climate change, especially in view of the expected change in precipitation patterns. Last but not least, their benefits for economic development are also doubtful, as their high costs increase the risk of over-indebtedness.

Given its social and environmental problems, is hydropower a forward-looking technology for reducing emissions and adapting to climate change? Should hydropower projects remain eligible in the context of sustainable finance initiatives, development policy and Paris Agreement Alignment initiatives of development banks?


Word of greeting:

Erwin Kräutler (Bischof Emeritus, Brazilia)

Inputs from:

Lídia Antty (Committee for the defense of the Amazonia life / Bolivia – Brazilia)

Olsi Nika (EcoAlbania)

Pippa Gallop (Bankwatch)

Olaf Lindner (German Angelfischerverband)


Michael Bender (GRÜNE LIGA/ Living Rivers Foundation)


Recording of the event:

https://youtu.be/SFctX0nNMag (in German)

https://youtu.be/FfZ2bdUc7B4 (in English)



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