- Private equity, public affair: Hydropower financing in the Mekong Basin
- Global Environmental Change
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Large-scale hydropower development is increasingly popular. Although international finance is a significant driver of hydropower market expansion, financial data is relatively obscure and literature remains scarce. This article tracks the financial process in hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin. It shows a shift in influence from traditional public international financial institutions to a diverse mix of private actors, who are enticed with attractive terms of trade and complete decision making power over water resource management. Traditional players have now taken on a more facilitating and regulatory role by providing guarantees and mitigating social and environmental impacts partly releasing the new global and regional private actors from these responsibilities. Because hydropower financing involves opaque processes and confidential documents public accountability is severely limited. While the private sector benefits from relatively short term returns, the public sector is left responsible for long term impacts.
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