The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Open to Public Consultation: Hydropower Criteria for Certifying Climate Bonds

Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) is in the process of creating criteria for certifying sustainable hydropower projects — those projects that are able to demonstrate climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience benefits. Before any standards for certification are released, CBI is seeking the input of hydropower stakeholders globally to provide perspectives on their draft Hydropower Criteria for Climate Bonds. Feedback will be accepted through 2 August 2019.

LEADING Perspectives Webinar Series

Guest blog from colleagues at LEAD Pakistan
LEADING Perspectives is a currently on-going series of talks that takes on the challenge of generating an informed, pluralistic and multi-sectoral analysis to accelerate the thought process on pressing water and environmental issues pertinent to our region. Under this series led by LEAD Pakistan, the following talks were held in September and October. Continue below to see summaries of each recent webinar. Visit the LEADING Perspectives website to stay informed about upcoming talks in the series.

From Climate Bonds Initiative - Launch of Hydropower Technical Working Group: Developing new criteria for green investment

Below is an excerpt from CBI's Press Release on their new Hydro TWG:

The Climate Bonds Initiative has launched a Hydropower Technical Working Group (TWG) to assess and develop Criteria for climate-friendly investment in the sector.

The aim is to develop Criteria that can identify and monitor hydropower investments which deliver climate mitigation benefits and/or incorporate adaptation and resilience impacts, whilst screening out those that don’t meet these objectives.

The Criteria are intended to provide a screening tool for both investors and issuers to determine whether bonds linked to hydropower assets can be considered consistent with limiting warming to a global average of 2°C. They will provide a potential path for certifying green bonds in the sector, under the Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme.

The TWG will be taking a robust science-based approach, one that looks at verifiable targets and metrics and takes into account in its analysis and assessment processes the environmental and social challenges that face some hydro developments.

Continue reading the full article at

AGWA Featured on NPR | Drought Sabotages Critical Hydroelectric Dams

The following is a copy of the article from "The Takeaway." The original article can be found at The interview with AGWA's Secretariat Coordinator begins at the 5-minute mark.

Venezuela's energy crisis is rippling through its economy. Dropping oil prices have cut into state funds, and a drought has critically diminished water levels at the massive Guri Dam, which is home to Venezuela's largest hydroelectric power station.

To cut back on energy demand, the government has imposed a two-day work week for all public sector workers, and schools have also been closed on Fridays.

Hannah Dreier is Venezuela correspondent for The Associated Press and was in Caracas when a new round of protests erupted on Tuesday. She discusses the energy crisis, and the subsequent unrest.

Hydroelectric power has reshaped economies all over the world, but as in Venezuela, many even recently completed dams face genuinely different conditions than their designers anticipated because of climate change.

Low water levels at the Kariba dam on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe are causing blackouts, and the Hoover Dam in the American southwest, which supplies Las Vegas with water, reached a new all-time low in April 2015.

In the face of droughts and changing weather patterns, can these expensive and prestigious projects still be viable? The Takeaway spoke with John Matthews, secretariat coordinator, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, about what a sustainable dam could look like. Read More...

OOSKAnews Voices | Feeling the Power of Climate Change: What Is Green Hydropower in a Shifting Climate?

OOSKAnews Voices is a new series of guest “opinion columns” on water, written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. The columns provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. In this piece John H. Matthews, co-founder and secretariat coordinator for AGWA, takes a look at the controversy over how "green" hydrolectric power really is.

"Perhaps more than any other water-related topic, hydropower represents some of the most extreme risks and opportunities associated with climate change policy and practice..." Read More...

Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong

The world's most biodiverse river basins—the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong—are experiencing an unprecedented boom in construction of hydropower dams. These projects address important energy needs, but advocates often overestimate economic benefits and underestimate far-reaching effects on biodiversity and critically important fisheries. Powerful new analytical tools and high-resolution environmental data can clarify trade-offs between engineering and environmental goals and can enable governments and funding institutions to compare alternative sites for dam building. Read More...

#ClimateIsWater - Glacial Retreat from Climate Change and Effects on Energy Production

In the twelth episode of the #ClimateIsWater series is Laurent Bellet, Energy and Water Advisor for the Sustainable Development Division of Electricité de France (EDF). Mr. Bellet talks about the changes in La Mer de Glace glacier in France due to climate change and how they have affected power generation in the area. These issues are an illustration of the challenges in designing infrastructure in light of changing climate and shifting water resources. He also outlines some of the approaches to sustainable water management being done by EDF in Europe.

This video is the latest in the #ClimateIsWater Initiative. Make sure to check out this episode and keep checking for future installments and news from the campaign.


From GIZ - Training Manuals on Sustainable Hydropower Now Available

From Susanne Schmeier of GIZ -

A collection of training manuals on sustainable hydropower, developed by GIZ together with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the Network on Sustainable Hydropower in the Mekong Region (NSHDM), is now complete and available online. You can download the individual training manuals focusing on topics such as sustainable ecosystems, climate change and hydropower or the transboundary dimensions of hydropower development by clicking on the links below. Read More...

Hydropower in Transboundary River Basins

Hydropower development is forging ahead in a large number of river basins. Generation has grown steadily over the past decades and will continue doing so in the future – not least due to global dynamics related to climate change mitigation. Many of these basins are shared by two or more riparian states. This lifts existing challenges such as potential environmental and socioeconomic costs and benefits to an additional level of complexity by adding an international dimension. Within this complex framework of developments and interests, one dimension stands out that has received particularly little attention by both academic scholars and policy makers – the relationship between water resources management institutions at the basin-level (namely River Basin Organizations (RBOs)) and the (private) hydropower development sector (including financiers, developers and equipment suppliers).