We want to hear from you! But first: three things you should know about CBI’s Hydro Criteria

Call to Action: To all stakeholders interested in the future of sustainable hydropower: it's your chance to review and comment on the Hydropower Criteria for Climate Bonds!


Climate Bonds Initiative is reaching out to hydropower stakeholders globally to review and provide perspectives on their draft Hydropower Criteria for Climate Bonds. Feedback can be submitted via email until 2 August 2019.

Climate Bonds Hydropower Criteria aim to provide the guidance needed to establish if a hydropower project will be able to mitigate climate change and support adaptation and resilience to climate change.


Why is the Hydropower Criteria so important?

Worldwide, the World Bank estimates that 1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. With only 30% of the economically feasible hydro potential tapped – and 92% untapped in Africa and 80% in Asia, hydropower investments are set to rise. 

As the most world’s most affordable and available source of potential energy, viability as a renewable power source is undeniable, and recently there has been a push to invest and support hydropower through the issuance of bonds.

Funding mechanisms behind hydropower projects can make-or-break a project’s environmental and social risk. Responsible investors can help mitigate climate change and reduce damaging effects of climate change; however, it is often difficult for investors to predict which hydropower assets will have a positive impact. 

Hydropower is included in the EU Taxonomy, constating of an EU Green Bond Standard and low-carbon benchmarks. The measures aim to promote capital investment in environmental solutions both in Europe and globally. As hydropower investors explore climate bonds to finance projects, it is vital that criteria are in place to assure projects support climate change mitigation and adaptation and resilience.

Before you review the criteria, here are three things you should know:


1) Hydropower Criteria for Climate Bonds will lower climate risks

To encourage investor engagement in hydropower and help the world meet the targets set in the Paris climate agreement, CBI has developed a set of robust, scientifically informed Hydropower Criteria for Climate Bonds.  These Criteria require multiple levels of testing to ensure that a hydropower asset meets low-carbon and climate resilience requirements.  The Criteria also require that hydropower facilities are employing best industry practices to ensure that the facility is not having a negative impact on the surrounding environment or social structures.


2) The Criteria was developed through an inclusive process

These criteria were developed with the help and input of diverse stakeholders and have been crafted by CBI to be rigorous enough to ensure that any facility issued a Climate Bond is a proven low-GHG, low impact asset.  These criteria can be applied to new and old facilities alike and will give investors peace of mind that the assets and facilities they are funding are actively working toward meeting the 2-degree Celsius target of the Paris Agreement.


3) The Criteria promotes the financing of environmentally responsible projects

Hydropower represents a large portion of the power grids of most countries, and coming years are likely to see an increase in the use of hydropower as a major renewable resource capable of replacing energy made from fossil fuels.  The Climate Bond and Hydropower Criteria will support the financing of facilities and assets prioritizing climate change mitigation and will help move the industry toward an improved set standard of low GHG, low carbon, and low environmental and social impact hydropower sites.


Hear from Our Working Groups:

“Hydropower can play an important role in the low carbon economy and their climate impact needs to be properly determined. But hydropower also has the potential to do significant damage to local affected people and to ecosystems if not assessed properly across these different dimensions. Independently certified assessments under the CBI processes will ensure that eligible dams meet basic standards of good environmental and social practice.” - Jamie Skinner, International Institute for Environment and Development (Member of the Hydropower TWG)

"M&G Investments as a Partner of the CBI sees real importance in mobilising deeper pools of capital into combatting climate change. We have taken an active role in the Hydropower Industry Working Group to help shape these criteria on behalf of our clients. Hydropower assets are uniquely placed in playing a key role for both energy storage and renewable energy generation." - David Kemp, M&G Investments (Member of the Hydropower IWG)


How to contribute: step-by-step!

We are looking forward to hearing from you. Here's what we recommend before you submit your review:

  1. Read the Hydropower Criteria FAQs and brochure
  2. Review the Background Paper for the Hydropower Criteria for Climate Bonds
  3. Review the Hydropower Criteria for Climate Bonds
  4. Provide your feedback on the Stakeholder Consultation Form
  5. Submit to public.consultation@climatebonds.net by August 2, 2019.


'Till next time,

Climate Bonds