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Second International Hydropower Conference Discusses Links With Climate Change

© ENB29 June 2009: The 2009 International Hydropower Association (IHA) World Congress on Advancing Sustainable Hydropower convened in Reykjavik, Iceland, from 23-26 June 2009, and discussed how hydropower is both vulnerable to climate change and part of the solution.

The Congress was attended by representatives from governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, as well as hydropower industry professionals. The first day of the Congress revolved around the theme “water, energy and climate change,” while on the second day, participants engaged in a seminar on hydropower and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as a discussion panel on hydropower markets.

On the first day, participants heard a presentation from the IUCN, describing IUCN's Water and Nature Initiative and the development of a global network on environmental flows. Region-specific effects of climate change on precipitation were also discussed.

During the seminar on hydropower and GHG emissions, Congress participants discussed the process of methane release from reservoirs into the atmosphere through sediment and the water column, and the use of models as tools for the assessment of GHG emissions from reservoirs. They also discussed the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/IHA GHG Research Project, noting its aim to gather data on emissions from a diverse and representative sample of the world's reservoirs.

In the session on markets, participants discussed the importance of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations with respect to changes in carbon markets and the impact of possible changes on future hydropower development. [IISDRS Coverage]