*[Enwl-eng] Sun and wind energy to save Lake Baikal from Mongolian hydro plan

ENWL.Bellona enwl.bellona at gmail.com
Thu May 7 15:47:36 MSD 2015

For immediate release


7 May 2015

Sun and wind energy to save Lake Baikal from Mongolian hydro plan

*"The sun and the wind have to save Baikal," say 55,000 citizens of
various countries that have signed an appeal to the President of Russia,
Mongolia, China and the World Bank.***

This is among the largest online international environment issue
petitions Russia has seen and aims to save Lake Baikal from Mongolian
hydro plant development around the lake's main tributaries, for which
Mongolia has solicited funds from the World Bank and China. The plan
seriously threatens the World Heritage Site's water volume and

A petition on Avaaz.org, a major online advocacy organization, hit
55,000 signatures today, with concerned citizens of various countries
requesting funds be instead diverted to renewable energy development -- 
solar and wind energy stations in the Mongolian Gobi desert.

The signers appeal to the President of Russia, Mongolia, China and the
World Bank ahead of a May 7^th meeting, during which Russian, Mongolian
and Chinese officials are expected to decide on an important energy and
transport trilateral agreement. This agreement could significantly
protect Lake Baikal if they work to incorporate an agreement to create
solar and wind power plants in the Mongolian Gobi Desert as an
alternative to hydropower plants of the Selenga River Basin.

The appeal was delivered to the Ministry of Open Government and the
Ministry of Energy today. The campaign suggests Selenge River and Lake
Baikal would be unable to support sustained energy production, and
strongly urges diverting financing to environmentally friendly projects.

The petition reads:

/President Vladimir Putin, President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj - President
of Mongolia, President Xi Jinping, China's president, and the head of
the World Bank Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank:/**

/We, concerned citizens of Russia and the world, call on you to protect
Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, from Mongolia plans for the
construction of cascade hydropower stations. This shortsighted plan will
lead to the death of the lake and its ecosystem, not allowing
Mongolia//to obtain desired energy. Instead, we urge you to finance the
construction of environmentally friendly wind and solar power plants in
the Mongolian part of the Gobi Desert - and prevent environmental
disaster before it is too late./

For the Russian version of the campaign and petition text, please see
here -__https://secure.avaaz.org/ru/save_lake_baikal_loc/

The impending impact of the hydro plant development, if it goes into
effect, is formidable, as water levels have already dropped below
critical levels due to drought in Mongolia. Despite this, the projects
are supported by the World Bank, and funding construction is speculated
to be in consideration by the Export-Import Bank of China, as well as
certain Middle Eastern, Turkish and international banks. This will not
only seriously disrupt the ecosystem and threaten the lake’s 2500
species, but, will affect negatively the hundreds of thousands of people
living around its shores.

Furthermore, on May 9th, leaders of the three countries will be
discussing a three-way "road map of cooperation", which aims to make
Russia and Mongolia, part of a single "Silk Road” project initiated by
the President Xi Jinping of China. China has urged all partners to
"promote ecological progress in conducting investment and trade,
increase cooperation in conserving the environment, protecting
biodiversity, and tackling climate change - to join hands to make the
Silk Road an environment-friendly one”.

Civil society organizations have united in coalition to uphold the
voices of 55,000 and call on these governments to protect Lake Baikal
and its biodiversity.

// For interview requests please contact Nataliya Rovenskaya at
nataliya at avaaz.org <mailto:nataliya at avaaz.org>.

From: "Evgeny Usov" <evgeniy.usov at greenpeace.org>
To: "ENWL.Bellona" <ENWL.Bellona at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2015 1:06 PM
Subject: Sun and wind energy to save Lake Baikal from Mongolian hydro plan

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