Ashok Khosla named as chair of the hydropower sustainability council

11 January 2021

Sustainability pioneer Dr Ashok Khosla has been appointed as independent chair of the global council that governs sustainability guidance for hydropower, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) has announced.

Dr Khosla will take up his new role on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council from 1 February 2021. One of his first tasks will be to introduce a Hydropower Sustainability Standard – a rating and certification system built on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools – following a three-month global public consultation that closes in February.  

As an advisor to the Brundtland Commission, chair of the NGO Forum at the Rio Summit and former President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Dr Khosla is widely regarded as a founding father of the concept of sustainable development.  

“Sustainable hydropower has a major role to play in helping countries to achieve sustainable development, meet renewables?targets and address climate change,” commented Dr Khosla. “I am excited to take on this position to bring greater attention to the need for hydropower projects that are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible way.”

The appointment was made by the executive committee of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council – the multi-stakeholder body made up of representatives of social, community and environmental organisations, governments, commercial and development banks and the hydropower sector.  

“Such an experienced appointment is an exciting opportunity to build and lift the profile of sustainable hydropower globally,” commented Roger Gill, IHA President. “I am sure Ashok will bring his huge experience, skills and credibility to the role, and thus elevate the conversation on sustainable hydropower in the 21st?century.”

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council consists of seven chambers, each representing a different group of stakeholders:  

  • Hydropower consultants, contractors or equipment suppliers;  
  • Hydropower operators or developers;  
  • Environment or conservation organisations;  
  • Social impacts, project affected communities, and Indigenous Peoples organisations;  
  • Development, public or commercial banks, financial organisations, and private investors and investment funds;  
  • Emerging and developing economy country governments; and
  • Advanced economy country governments.  

The council is supported by IHA Sustainability, a not-for-profit division of the IHA. IHA Sustainability publishes the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and is the secretariat for the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council and executive committee, while delivering training to practitioners and professional accreditation courses for assessors.  

The public consultation for the Hydropower Sustainability Standard closes on 8 February 2021. Members of the hydropower community are invited to register for a public webinar on the consultation on Wednesday 20 January, from 14:00-15:00 GMT.

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