About our Alliance

The North American Megadam Resistance Alliance is a coalition of organizations whose mission is to protect rivers and their communities by resisting megadams and associated transmission corridors. 

NAMRA seeks to: 

  1. Debunk the myth that Canadian hydropower is “clean” and renewable energy, and
  2. Shut down markets for dirty Canadian hydropower by stopping transmission corridors to the U.S.
  3. Promote alternatives to fossil fuels and megadam hydropower– such as conservation and efficiency.

Update on climate and megadams from three river advocates who authored an Opinion in the New York Times on Dec. 29, 2019:

Our Cherished Rivers Are Under Threat: Permanent protections for free-flowing rivers need to be the centerpiece of every country’s national climate action plan. Chile can lead the way.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/opinion/climate-change-hydroelectric-dam.html

“Hydropower is not a clean, green technology. Rivers help regulate an increasingly volatile global carbon cycle by transporting decaying organic material from land to sea, where it settles on the ocean floor. This draws and estimated 200 million tons of carbon out of the air each year.”

“Considered as a whole, hydroelectric dams emit a billion tons of greenhouse gases per year.

Canada is at the top of the list for countries that have destroyed vast areas of forests, wetlands and rivers for megadam hydropower. Hydro-Quebec, Manitoba Hydro and B.C. Hydro-all state owned monopolies-are on a dam building boom.

In October, 2019, this peer reviewed scientific article was published concluding that hydropower dams can have greenhouse gas emissions “on par with fossil fuels.”

Climate Impacts of Hydropower: Enormous Differences among Facilities and over Time


Summary of the article:

“To stabilize the climate, we must rapidly displace fossil fuels with clean energy technologies. Currently hydropower dominates renewable electricity generation, accounting for two-thirds globally, and is expected to grow by at least 45% by 2040. While it is broadly assumed that hydropower facilities emit greenhouse gases on par with wind, there is mounting evidence that emissions can be considerably greater, with some facilities even on par with fossil fuels. However, analyses of climate impacts of hydropower plants have been simplistic, emphasizing the aggregated 100-year impacts from a one-year pulse of emissions. Such analyses mask the near-term impacts of methane emissions central to many current policy regimes, have tended to omit carbon dioxide emissions associated with initial plant development, and have not considered the impact of the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere over time. We utilize an analytic approach that addresses these issues. By analyzing climate impacts of sustained hydropower emissions over time, we find that there are enormous differences in climate impacts among facilities and over time. If minimizing climate impacts are not a priority in the design and construction of new hydropower facilities, it could lead to limited or even no climate benefits.”