In a report issued AT A NEW Delhi meeting on climate change in November, the International Rivers Network of Berkeley, California and CDM Watch of Bali, Indonesia, objected to hydro projects being considered for green house gas reduction credits, under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The CDM is a part of the Kyoto Protocol which promotes carbon dioxide-reducing projects in developing countries. When the protocol enters into force, the carbon credits generated by green projects could be used to help meet greenhouse gas reduction targets by the 37 industrialised countries governed by the treaty.

Environmentalists have argued that that seven hydro dam projects in Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Uganda should not be included under CDM credits.

In their report ‘Damming the CDM’, authors Barbara Haya, Patrick McCully and Ben Pearson say that seven hydro projects claimed for emissions credit under the CDM are already under development, and in some cases are nearly complete.

They are ‘business as usual projects that would go ahead without the CDM’, the report says.

Five out of the seven dam projects at issue are in Latin America – the 25MW Chacabuquito dam in Chile; two dams in Costa Rica, the 7.5MW El Encanto and the 35.4MW Penas Blancas dams; three dams in Panama totalling 242MW; and the 90MW Huanza dam in Peru.

The remaining dams under objection are in Uganda, including the Bujagali project (see story links).
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