Category: Export Credit

Thousands march in Chile against dams in Patagonia

(June 8, 2010) This past Saturday, June 5, colleagues in Chile marked the annual International Day for the Environment (el Día Internacional del Medioambiente) with a nationwide day of action.

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Patagonia’s peril

(January 25, 2010) With its glacier-carved peaks and fjords, southern Chile remains one of the wildest places on Earth. But that could soon change.

Clear water, big fish

(December 12, 2009) Twenty-three hundred kilometres of transmission lines, to be built by Transelec Chile SA (investors include the CPP Investment Board, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and Toronto conglomerate Brookfield Asset Management Inc.), would require the world’s longest clear-cut up through the heart of Patagonia’s untouched temperate forests.

Canadians funding destruction of Patagonia forests

(December 9, 2009) A recent article in Pique highlights concerns about the involvement of the Canadian-owned company Transelec in a hydro electric project in Chile’s Patagonia region. The project, which plans to build five dams and 2,300 km of transmission lines with a parallel highway that would pass through 14 legally protected natural areas, has been criticized by environmentalists in the country and around the world, as well as business leaders.

Ethiopia’s Tekeze Dam fiasco

(November 28, 2009) The recently completed Tekeze hydroelectric dam in Ethiopia is said to be the largest public works project in Africa. It also could turn in to the biggest blunder with disastrous environmental impact, as the investigative report below tries to illustrate. There is so much secrecy surrounding the project that it is not even clear who really paid for it, although the ruling Woyanne junta claims that it has provided all the funding.

UK taxpayers foot the bill for PR campaigns by foreign aid groups, says UK economic development think-tank

(October 20, 2009) Stimulus packages aside, the so-called “Great Recession” is forcing government leaders across the world to look for ways to cut back on the cost of public services. No sector, or service, will be spared they say. But Carl Mortishead, writing in The Times, reports there is one government office in the UK that—far from being forced to trim costs—will be given a larger budget: The Department for International Development (DfID), the British government’s foreign aid flagship.

Canada pension fund urged to abandon Chilean transmission scheme Eco groups call it harmful and unnecessary

(June 21, 2009) Probe International is calling on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board to halt its investment in a controversial hydro transmission project in Chile’s Patagonia region. The CPP is currently listed as an investor in a 1,500-mile (2,400 kilometres) transmission project designed to handle power from five proposed hydroelectric dams in the Chilean Patagonia.

Probe International reply to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

(June 17, 2009) Last August, HidroAysén submitted its Environmental Impact Assessment to the environmental authorities for its proposed hydroelectric dams in the Patagonia region of southern Chile. The EIA excluded the transmission component of the project, which would be developed by Transelec and includes a 1,500-mile long transmission line and related infrastructure crossing through 14 legally protected natural areas and thousands of private properties, around volcanoes, and over fjords spanning, in all, more than half of Chile’s entire length.

Giant "Dam Home Depot" banner flies over Atlanta during company’s annual shareholder meeting

(May 28, 2009) Early this morning the nonprofit environmental organization International Rivers flew a giant "Dam Home Depot" banner over the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Atlanta. Protesters also unfurled a banner and raised questions inside the shareholder’s meeting, asking Home Depot executives to account for their role in supporting the destruction of Patagonia.

CPP Investment Board urged to abandon controversial Chilean transmission scheme

(May 15, 2009) We are writing on behalf of the “Patagonia Defense Council” (“Consejo de Defensa de la Patagonia” – CDP), a diverse coalition of 58 organizations from Chile, USA, Canada, Spain and Italy, who have assumed the mission of defending the environmental integrity of Chilean Patagonia threatened by a mega hydroelectric project, called HidroAysén, and the associated transmissions lines.