Peter Bosshard

Peter Bosshard is the policy director of International Rivers. He blogs at www.internationalrivers.org/en/blog/peter-bosshard and tweets @PeterBosshard.

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 8:00am
Ten Things You Should Know About Dams
1. 50,000 Large Dams Are Clogging the World’s Rivers: About 50,000 dams with a height of 15 meters or more and millions of smaller dams have been built on the world’s rivers. Some of them date back centuries, but most were built after World War II. About 5,000 dams have a height of 60 meters or...
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Friday, January 17, 2014 - 8:33am
US Congress Takes Landmark Decision for Rivers and Rights
The World Bank is eager to re-engage in large dam projects around the world, and other financiers are following in its wake. The US Congress has now poured cold water on these plans.
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Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 10:01am
Aid Dollars Should Fund Renewables, Not Dams
As you read this, a power outage is affecting much of Africa and South Asia. After hundreds of billions of aid dollars have been spent on energy projects, 1.4 billion people continue to live in a state of permanent blackout. Development finance has focused on big power plants that destroy the environment and bypass the rural poor.
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Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 12:30pm
Why the World Bank Shies Away From Energy Efficiency
Decentralized renewable energy projects are highly effective at reducing energy poverty. Energy conservation and efficiency improvements are the cheapest way to close the gap between energy demand and supply. Too bad such measures don’t fit the business model of the World Bank, the world’s most important energy financier.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 9:08am
A Sustainable Energy Future is Within Our Grasp
The staggering growth in renewable energy has the potential to fundamentally change the way we generate and use power.
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Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 9:21am
Can Jim Yong Kim Reinvent the World Bank?
Jim Yong Kim – a public health expert, president of Dartmouth College and astute rapper – is the US government’s candidate for the presidency of the World Bank.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 1:59pm
A Milestone Birthday for Planet Earth
Milestone birthdays are opportunities to take stock of our family, health and financial situation. So how is Planet Earth doing 20 years after the Earth Summit , the historic UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro? The planet’s economic output has more than doubled since 1992. Some members of the global family are doing extremely well, but the number of hungry people is increasing.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 8:00am
The Pioneers of Our Climate, Water and Food Security
When the World Commission on Dams reviewed the development effectiveness of dams, multipurpose projects with large dams, power plants and irrigation schemes had the worst social, environmental and economic track record. As the world is grappling for appropriate answers to climate change, influential actors such as the World Bank want to give these complex schemes a second chance. They are wrong.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 11:12am
Large Hydropower: Sustainability Without Human Rights?
Dam projects often lead to resource conflicts between governments, private investors and local communities, and have caused a long series of human rights violations. In the most egregious case, more than 400 indigenous women and children were massacred for the construction of the Chixoy Dam in Guatemala in the 1970s.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 8:58am
How Dams Can Kick up a Storm and Change Our Climate
Only 140 kilometers from our Berkeley office, the Folsom Dam towers 100 meter high over the American River. When it was built in the 1950s, the project was supposed to withstand the most severe flood in 250 years. Yet after it was completed, strong floods suddenly became more frequent and overtopped the dam at several instances. Until a safety upgrade goes forward, 440,000 people in the downstream area are exposed to the highest level of flood risk in the US.
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