Dams and Renewable Energy Incentives Update:

The OECD is facilitating negotiations to include hydropower under subsidies for renewable energy projects approved in April 2005. The documents linked below present NGO concerns with this development.

    A. New ECA Watch publication - A Trojan Horse for Large Dams [PDF]
September 2, 2005 (ECA Watch) - This new report demonstrates that the hydropower projects which ECAs financed in the recent past have a bad social and environmental track record. The NGOs argue that providing export subsidies for hydropower under the guise of promoting renewable energy would amount to a Trojan horse for environmental destruction. They propose that all future hydropower projects that are financed by official export credits should follow the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams.

    B. World Bank standards aren't good enough [PDF]
August 2, 2005 (Cornerhouse, UK) ECAs have a long history of granting support for hydroelectric projects in developing countries. Although the total number of dams funded by ECAs is unknown, a preliminary assessment suggests that they have been involved in financing at least 30 major dams, the overwhelming majority of them with severe and adverse environmental and social impacts Many of the projects have been rife with corruption or have left countries saddled with debts that have only been repaid at great cost to the poorest sectors of society. This paper sets out the background to the new subsidies that have been negotiated for hydropower at the OECD; evaluates the accompanying standards that ECAs are currently minded to adopt; and identifies four key areas where ECAs must take action if future funding for dams is not to result in the egregious environmental and social impacts that have characterized the past.

    C. Movement of Dam-affected People (MAB) protests against lack of compensation [PDF]
May, 2005 (Bank Information Center) On the afternoon of the 31st of May, more than 300 people affected by the Caña Brava Hydroelectric project occupied the Inter American Development Bank’s Brazilian headquarters in the nation’s capital, Brazilia. The occupants of the IDB’s offices are demanding that the bank force Tractebel, a Belgian MNC, to pay full and adequate compensation to all those impacted by the construction of the enormous dam. The Brazilian ECA BNDES was involved in the financing of this project.