Give carbon credits for a dam which requires a large area of rainforest to be cut down? That’s absurd.

Indonesia is pressing ahead with its desire to build a dam in the Sumatran rainforest. Now when the Dam is filled and floods this vast area of rainforest, all the carbon currently stored in the trees will be released back into the air- either as carbon or as meeting due to the breakdown of the wood under water. Calculations were made suggesting that this damn could take decades or even centuries to reach carbon neutral based on the amount of Carbon released when it is filled.

The amount of electricity this damn would generate would produce about 4% of indonesia’s electricity, but this cannot be claimed to be carbon neutral when so much has been released to build and fill a dam in the first place. 

It should also be noted that while in the long run this damn may cut indonesia’s CO2 emissions, it will increase them over the next decade, the specific period that is of most concern.

I have written about this dam before because this is the dam that will eradicate a large proportion of the tapanuli orangutan habitat. It will also have to need large roads into the area to bring the resources needed, but around the world it has been shown that when roads are built the Poachers and Hunters moving afterwards.

All studies have shown that tropical Reservoir built on land that is deforested for their creation are not good for reducing carbon emissions but actually do the complete opposite, and often remained significant carbon sauces for the entirety of their lives.

Indonesia is indeed in need of significant amounts of carbon free electrical power, but this need not be got at the cost of large areas of rainforest. Indonesian archipelago is the perfect place for tidal power having an astounding amount of coastal space. Given the the delicacy of some of their coastal areas this would be have to be placed carefully but what could be a fantastic source of of carbon free electricity for many decades to come. In my mind this project should be a non starter for the simple reason it will eradicate one of the eight great ape species, protecting this species is something that should be a higher priority than it is being given by the Indonesian government.

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