Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


April 26, 2006 - Op-ed

Journal of Climatic Change editorial weighs in on dam debate

By Danny Cullenward

For over ten years, two research groups in Brazil have been publishing conflicting reports on the status of emissions from hydroelectic power plants. While both agree that dams do produce greenhouse gases, the two teams dispute one another's methods and the magnitude of results. Because emissions from dams are significantly more complicated than emissions from thermal power plants, the issue has become so specialized as to be ignored by many policy planners.

In The Dam Debate and its Discontents, we evaluate the divergent arguments on methods. While at first glance the issue seems far from being resolved, we find that the pieces are in place for a resolution. Specifically, we suggest international oversight to help converge research results and boost confidence in new findings.

Topics: Brazil