No green light for small hydropower in EU Finance Taxonomy

Hydropower is not a sustainable investment. EU Commission should listen to science.

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Hydropower plants, especially small hydro, are one of the main causes for the increasingly long Red Lists of fishes. If the expansion is not stopped, 186 fish species in the rivers of the Mediterranean region will be pushed further towards extinction.

© Amel Emric

Together with over 130 NGOs and experts, EuroNatur calls on the Commission to listen to science in its fight against the climate crisis, and especially to the recommendations of its own Technical Expert Group on the Taxonomy. These have been largely ignored in the current draft act. On 20 November, the European Commission released its draft Delegated Act on the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. These green finance rules aim to define which activities can be classed as sustainable and climate-friendly investments.

While EuroNatur welcomes the exclusion of fossil fuels from the proposed act, EuroNatur is extremely concerned that the draft act does not follow the Technical Expert Group’s recommendation that “construction of small hydropower (<10MW) should be avoided”. Across Europe and beyond, small hydropower has resulted in massive impacts on rivers and streams in sensitive ecosystems. This is all the more unacceptable given its negligible contribution to electricity supply. The draft act must exclude small hydropower completely. It cannot make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation. 

It is also alarming that the draft act has weakened the recommendations of the technical expert group on biomass. It has accepted that all forest biomass may be burned as feedstocks. This decision contradicts the fact that forest biomass can mitigate climate change.

How you can help

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to protect rivers in Europe.

Newsletter

Twice a month the latest information about Europe's nature - free of charge and at first hand.

News: Blue Heart of Europe

Goldman Environmental Prize for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

++ River defenders from Bosnia and Herzegovina win the Goldman Environmental Prize ++ For the second time in the past three years an activist has has...

Science week at the Vjosa tributaries

++ 35 scientists from Austria, Albania, Italy and Germany assess the two major Vjosa tributaries for a week ++ Data will be used to fight planned...

Plans for Kalivaç dam finally shelved

Great news for the Albanian Vjosa: The Kalivaç dam, which for many years hovered like a sword of Damocles over Europe's last great wild river, will...

EU funds for the destruction of nature?

For years, EuroNatur and its partner organisations have been fighting against the controversial Mokrice hydropower plant on the Sava River. The...

Bird paradise in Albania threatened by construction of an airport

++ An airport is to be built in the Narta Lagoon on the Adriatic ++ A stopover site of major international importance for migratory water birds ++ 8th...

Pressure continues for a Vjosa National Park as new government forms in Albania

The election may be over, but the fight for the Vjosa is not.

Webinar on legal instruments for river protection

In order to accelerate the development of hydropower in Europe, mandatory legal procedures and environmental impact assessment requirements are often...

Even one dam can destroy the river

A recently published study summarises the value of the Vjosa River system as one of the few remaining reference sites for dynamic floodplains in...

Activists demand European political support for a Vjosa National Park in Albania

++ The new slogan, Vjosa National Park Now, is a plea to protect Europe’s last big wild river ++

Albania Faced with a Choice: National Park or Destruction of the Vjosa River

The future of Europe’s largest unspoilt river hangs in the balance

Vjosa: Environmental groups submit proposal for Europe’s first Wild River National Park

++ Because of the Albanian government's inaction, nature conservation organisations are now taking action ++ Vjosa National Park could become a...

No green light for small hydropower in EU Finance Taxonomy

Hydropower is not a sustainable investment. EU Commission should listen to science.

Vjosa: Political game with the future of Europe´s last wild river

++ 94 % of Albanians in favour of establishing Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN confirms the potential of Vjosa River for becoming a National Park ++...

Small hydropower plants in the Balkans soon a thing of the past?

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) announced Nov. 26 that starting in 2021, the government would no longer provide subsidies that support...

Dams on Neretva river: Complaint submitted to Bern Convention

++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Bern Convention against Bosnia and Herzegovina for permitting dam-building on the pristine upper Neretva ++ A...