Archive for 2003

Nov 29 2003
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‘Power Driven’ by Susan DeMuth, The Guardian


The Guardian, November 29, 2003

‘Power Driven’ appeared in The Guardian Weekend in 2003 and made a major impact in Iceland. It is still the best main stream analysis of many key issues at stake and an excellent overview of the social background.

In Iceland, work has already begun on a colossal $1bn dam which, when it opens in 2007, will cover a highland wilderness – and all to drive one US smelter. Environmentalists are furious, but the government appears determined to push through the project, whatever the cost. Susan DeMuth investigates.

North of Vatnajokull, Europe’s biggest glacier, lies Iceland’s most fascinating and varied volcanic landscape. Ice and boiling geothermal infernos meet at the edges of the glacier, and then the largest remaining pristine wilderness in western Europe begins – a vast panorama of wild rivers, waterfalls, brooding mountains and mossy highlands thick with flowers. Read More

Jul 18 2003
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Violation of the Equator Principles by the $400 Million Loan to Landsvirkjun


International Rivers Network

The $400 million loan for Iceland’s National Power Company

On July 9, 2003, a $400 million revolving credit was signed by Iceland’s National Power Company (Landsvirkjun) and a consortium of 19 banks. The mandated arrangers of the loan are Barclays Bank (UK), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (Japan), SEB (Sweden), and Societe Generale (France), with shares of $31 million each. The other members of the consortium are CDC IXIS (France), Danske Bank (Danmark), DePfa Group (Germany/Ireland), Dexia Group (France/Belgium), Fortis Bank (Netherlands), Islandsbanki (Iceland) and Landesbank Baden–Wuertemberg (Germany), with $25 million each; Deutsche Postbank (Germany), KBC Bank (Belgium) and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Germany), with $17 million each; and BNP Paribas (France), Deutsche Bank (Germany), JP Morgan (USA), Kaupthing Bunadarbanki (Iceland) and Landsbanki Islands (Iceland) with $10 million each. Read More

Jun 26 2003

A Project on Thin Ice


saudarfalls

International Rivers Network
1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94703, USA,  irn at irn.org

An Analysis of the Karahnjukar Hydropower and Reydaral Aluminum Smelter Project in Iceland

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Jun 02 2003

Iceland’s Wilderness Under Attack


Einar Þorleifsson and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
World Birdwatch vol. 25 no. 2, June 2003

 

falcon and reindr 

As reported in the previous issue of World Birdwatch (25(1):7), a huge dam is being built in a remote part of Iceland to supply hydroelectric power for an aluminium smelter. The development is vigorously opposed by Fuglaverndunarfélag Íslands (Icelandic Society for the Protection of Birds, ISPB, Birdlife in Iceland). ISPB’s Einar Ó. Thorleifsson and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson discuss the likely impacts on the unique wildlife and scenery of this pristine environment. Read More

Feb 19 2003

ALCOA and WWF


Mines and Communities
London Calling!
February 19 2003

THE “WOOF” AND ITS WEB-FOOTED FRIENDS

Birds have a habit of coming home to roost. None more so than the rare pink-footed geese, who winter in Britain and nest and feed at Karahnjukar in Iceland every year. Whether dodgy deals by conservationists also come home to roost is open to question.

handaband

However, the world’s biggest public-subscription conservation organisation now faces what might (just) be its biggest controversy yet. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, or”WOOF” as its fondly known) seems split down the middle over a new sponsorship deal. Read More

Feb 16 2003

WWF in Row Over Threat to Rare Birds by Severin Carrell


Kathryn Fuller

The Independent on Sunday

by Severin Carrell
Feb 16, 2003

Senior executives at one of the world’s richest conservation groups, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), are at loggerheads over a corporate sponsorship deal that will affect the fate of three species of goose. The dispute involves plans for a major dam being built by Alcoa, an aluminium giant with unusually close ties to WWF’s American arm.

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Jan 15 2003

BirdLife International Slam Icelandic Dam Project


pinkfoot

The proposed dams in Iceland are likely to completely destroy the nest sites of 1050-1350 pairs of Pink-footed Geese (equivalent to four per cent of the UK wintering population). In addition, thousands more are likely to be affected less directly by impacts such as the effects of hydrological changes on the birds.

Cambridge, UK, 15th January 2003

The Icelandic Government will put thousands of pairs of nesting Pink-footed Geese at risk by sanctioning two hydro-electric schemes, BirdLife International said today. Iceland has almost 90 per cent of the global population of this small goose, almost all of which winter in the UK, mainly in East Anglia and Scotland [1,2].

“BirdLife International estimates that as many as one in seven of the Pink-footed Geese that visit the UK in winter could be affected or displaced by these hydro-electric schemes”, said BirdLife Europe’s Conservation Manager, Szabolcs Nagy. “The two affected sites – Utherad and Thjarsarvar Important Bird Areas (IBAs) – are globally recognised, but Iceland seems determined to renege on its international conservation commitments and to damage and destroy substantial portions of these sites.” [3,4,5] Read More