Itaipu Binacional is the only Latin American company that will exhibit, within the UN pavilion, solutions for tackling climate change
Itaipu Binacional will be one of the partner institutions of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) for the UN Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, from 6 to 17 November.
During COP23, which will bring together representatives of governments and heads of state from around the world, strategies to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change will be discussed in line with the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The Agreement, which was adopted by nations at COP21 in 2015 and came into force less than 12 months later, aims to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees C and better, no higher than 1.5 degrees C.
Itaipu will be the only Latin American company that will be a UN Climate Change partner at the conference. The partnership exists in recognition of the company's various actions for the production of clean and renewable energy, water security, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in its area of influence.
These projects will be presented in detail at the UN Climate Change's Pavilion in Bonn. Additionally, in partnership with the UN, Itaipu will also promote two side events: "How the hydroelectric generation sector can lead sustainable development in a changing environment," on 10 November (Energy Day) and "Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity," on 12 November (Water Day).
About Partnerships between UN Climate Change and non-Party stakeholders
The collaboration between UN Climate Change and Itaipu is part of a series of partnerships between UN Climate Change and relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, to support climate action. Partnerships will be formally recognized and given high visibility through the UN Climate Change website and social media channels, conference branding, and media engagement activities to reach a global audience.
The partnerships for COP23 promote the increased involvement of non-Party stakeholders as foreseen in the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA). The MPGCA was a launched at COP22 by the Conference of the Parties, explicitly welcoming climate action of all non-Party stakeholders, including the private sector, to help implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
All entities of society and business are strongly encouraged to scale up their efforts and support actions to reduce emissions, as well as to build resilience and decrease vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change.
The Itaipu Dam, located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, is the world's largest energy-producing hydroelectric plant. In November 2017, it will reach 2.5 billion megawatt-hours (MWh) of accumulated production (electricity supply began in 1984).
In 2016, the plant established a new global record in annual generation, with 103.1 million MWh. This production accounts for 17% of Brazil's electricity consumption and 78% of Paraguay´s. To get an idea, to generate the same amount of energy with a thermal source, countries would need to use more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day, which is equivalent to one fifth of Brazilian oil production.
The company is the result of a treaty signed between Brazilians and Paraguayans in 1973. At the time, the project was influenced by the 1st World Conference on Man and the Environment, the Stockholm Conference, held by the UN in 1972. Therefore, the construction of Itaipu was surrounded by environmental care previously unheard of for a hydroelectric plant.
One of the precautions was the creation of conservation areas (composed of protected areas, wildlife refuges and the biological forest corridor that protects of the reservoir) that total more than 100 thousand hectares. Today, this protected forest accounts for the sequester of approximately 730 thousand tons of carbon per year. In 2017, the Paraguayan portion of the protected areas was integrated by UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's Man and Biosphere program into the global biosphere reserve network.
As an advance in biodiversity conservation, Itaipu is undertaking breeding programs for endangered animal species, such as the harpy eagle (typical of South America). The Itaipu reservoir extends for approximately 170 linear kilometers and stores about 29 billion cubic meters of water. In addition to power generation, the lake supplies municipal water and is used in tourism, farming, and fish production.
To support these multiple uses, Itaipu develops a series of environmental actions, such as protecting springs and water courses with riparian forests, upgrading rural roads, conservation of agricultural soils, promotion of agroecological techniques, diffusion of technologies for generation of energy from agricultural waste, environmental education for local communities, among other strategies. Among the company's initiatives, Cultivating Good Water was recognized, in 2015, by UN-Water, as a best practice in the management of water resources.