Large Dams and
Transcultural Narratives about Global Environmental Change and their Asymmetric Impacts
Funding: Excellence Initiative "Asia and Europe"
Project number: C8
The current discussion about global warming and the possibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through hydropower has given a new turn to the debate about large dams, resulting in the revival of this otherwise disputed technology. This trend becomes apparent in the massive financial support by which the international carbon trading scheme Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) subsidises dam building in China and India where the number of so-called ‘carbon offsetting dams’ is increasing exponentially. The re-evaluation of the perception and the promotion of large dams through the CDM constitute an up-to-date example of how transcultural narratives on global environmental problems and mitigation strategies translate into national and international policies. The project identified the origins, analysed the transformations, and assessed the asymmetric impacts of this latest turn in the large dam controversy.
Allain Duhangan Hydropower Project under construction, Himachal Pradesh, India (A.Erlewein 2009).