Quick facts on the greenhouse gas impacts of hydropower

•Electricity produced from large dams can emit greenhouse gases on par with fossil fuels according to recent research. With less than ten years to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to have hope of a livable future, there is no time to invest in false climate solutions such as hydropower.

•Canadian megadams are in an area where the amount of power produced per acre of flooded land is among the lowest in the world.

•A recent study published in BioScience shows that hydroelectric dams worldwide release a billion tons of greenhouse gases per year due to the flooding of forests, peatlands, rivers, and other ecosystems. The creation of reservoirs for power generation also wipes out important sources of carbon sequestration such as boreal forests.

•Free flowing rivers play a crucial role in sequestering carbon-dioxide out of the atmosphere. Blockading rivers with large dams reduces their ability to do so. 

•Manufacturing steel and concrete to build dams, transmission corridors, and associated infrastructure is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

•Trapping sediment behind dams prevents it from flowing downstream to the ocean, impairing the ocean’s ability to regulate carbon.