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The Importance of Rescuing Responsible Hydropower Initiatives in Southeast Asia

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

for Long-term Reduction of Carbon Emission


Speaker: Dr. William Ascher


Date: October 6, 2023

Time: 5:30pm

Venue: Room 301, 3F Building 10, Sophia University

Format: In person only

No registration necessary


The growing use of coal and natural gas in generating electricity in many developing countries requires far more effort to promoting responsible large-scale hydropower. As attractive as solar and wind power seem to be, they face insurmountable physical constraints that greatly limit their potential to replace fossil fuels. Despite notorious past abuses, hydro offers low-carbon and low-cost energy generation and important potential for energy storage and peaking supply. However, because designing and siting hydro projects to reduce their socio-economic and environmental damage typically entails greater costs and lower capacity, subsidies are needed to increase the number of responsible, economically viable projects. Promoting responsible hydropower requires greater awareness of the possibilities for responsible projects, greater overall climate funding, better provision for local participation and compensation, and stronger institutions to identify, design, and broker these projects.

William Ascher, Yale University PhD, is the Donald C. McKenna Professor of Government and Economics at Claremont McKenna College, and directs the Environment, Economics, and Politics Program. He has consulted with the World Bank, the USEPA, and the Ford Foundation, and taught at Tokyo University, Dundee University, the Universidad de Chile, and Mexico’s CIDE. His Asian and Latin American research spans socio-economic and natural-resource policy; his methodology research covers political-economic forecasting, political psychology, and the policy sciences. His recent books are Development Strategies and Inter-Group Violence; The Evolution of Development Thinking; Understanding the Policymaking Process in Developing Countries; The Psychology of Poverty Alleviation; and Moving within Borders: Addressing the Potentials & Risks of Mass Migrations in Developing Countries (in press).


This talk is organized by Takeshi Ito (Professor of Comparative Politics/Political Economy, Sophia University).


Image of the dam: pexels-quang-nguyen-vinh-6872518.jpg

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