The historic agreement at the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) has committed the world to an ambitious target to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. In this context, it is critically important that the world continue to scale up its investments in low-carbon and renewable sources of energy, including in hydropower, and the World Bank Group (WBG) is ready and able to help countries to do this.
While it is known that reservoirs emit greenhouse gases (GHGs), their net emissions, on average, are much lower than those from fossil fuel based sources of electricity. Today, hydropower reduces annual global emissions by some 2.8 billion tons of CO2 equivalent every year. The World Bank Group will continue to support well-designed and implemented hydropower projects of all sizes for both local development and climate mitigation reasons:
- A number of the world’s most electricity-poor countries also have some of the least exploited hydropower potential, and hydropower represents the most economically viable, large scale source of energy for their development – particularly in Sub Saharan Africa. For this reason, nine of the 15 energy projects prioritized by African governments within the 2012-2020 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa are investments in hydropower.
- A central element of the commitments made in Paris is to continue to invest in renewable and low carbon energy so as to help slow GHG emissions over time. Hydropower, which represents some 80% of the world’s installed renewable power generation capacity, is a key ingredient of this commitment for developed and developing countries alike. The new and rehabilitated generation capacity that will be provided by the WBG supported hydropower projects approved between 2002 and 2014 will avoid approximately 1.1 billion metric tons of cumulative GHG emissions over the economic life of the projects.
Last Updated: Apr 05, 2016