The devastating social and environmental consequences of new dam projects in the Amazon are becoming glaringly apparent: uncontrolled migration, land speculation, deforestation, depletion of fish stocks, destruction of traditional communities and livelihoods, child prostitution, overstretched urban services in health, education and sanitation. All these phenomena, caused or intensified by mega-dam projects, are increasingly part of the contemporary Amazonian landscape.
At COP20 government representatives are creating the framework for a binding climate treaty that will be signed next year. Various governments, financial institutions, and corporations will be pushing for the construction of large dams to supplant fossil-fuel power plants. That’s why over 180 civil society organizations from across the globe have come together to send a clear message to national and international authorities at the COP: Large Dams Are Not Clean Energy!
China has committed to a massive reduction of its carbon emissions, which will almost certainly lead to dramatic reduction in coal power production. Dam builders and energy planners propose the construction of new hydropower dams on China’s rivers at unprecedented levels in order to reach these targets. The True Cost of Hydropower report demonstrates that it is possible for China to reduce its carbon emissions without increased hydropower exploitation.
Kachin refugees fleeing from fighting at the Dapein dams in Burma, site of the June 2011 violence between the Burmese army and the Kachin Indepence Organization. 30,000 people were displaced. 90% of the electricity will go to China, as will 100% of the Clean Development Mechanism credits.