Close to 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a state of permanent power outage. The Grand Inga Dam would divert the Congo River near its mouth and meet the electricity needs of more than 500 million people.
The engine that transforms the lives of millions of Chinese citizens like Li Liguan is China Development Bank (CDB). The bank channels capital to key sectors and projects in the world's fastest growing economy -- an essential role in any development state.
Ikal Angelei receives the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize today. She is defending the interests of 500,000 poor indigenous people against a destructive hydropower dam, and has successfully taken on many of the world's biggest dam builders and financiers.
Could Jim Yong Kim's presidency offer a chance to reinvent the World Bank? Redirecting the supertanker of multilateral development finance will take more than a change of presidents. The entrenched interests in the Bank's management and board will try to prevent a change of course.
Most of the world's poorest people lack access to basic services such as clean water and electricity. Over the past 50 years, centralized water and power projects have largely bypassed these population groups.
In a crucial decision for the people and ecosystems of the Mekong River Basin, the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam have just agreed to delay the Xayaburi Dam, the first of eleven dams proposed for the Mekong River.
Key decisions about the sector cannot be left to undemocratic, non-transparent institutions. Civil society groups have started to pry open the echo chambers of the G20 and its cooperation with other powerful actors.
If the World Bank and an Indian power utility have their way, the Rampur hydropower project in Northern India will increase global CO2 emissions by 15 million tons, at a cost of $164 million to unsuspecting energy consumers in Sweden.
The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the world's largest hydropower project. Now the Chinese government has officially acknowledged the project's serious social, environmental and geological problems.
Ritzy Davos might not be the best place to encourage this kind of "small is beautiful" thinking. Maybe future talks on "lighting up Africa" should be held in a rural hospital, where doctors deliver babies in the dark.
Dams have impoverished tens of thousands of people and triggered serious human rights violations in Sudan. Now Chinese companies have won contracts to build three more hydropower projects in the country.
As you "tent" your turkey and wrap leftovers this holiday season, keep in mind that the aluminum foil you're using has its roots in a dirty industry -- one that deserves a lump of coal in its stocking.