Endesa Chile Renounces Rights to Develop Hydropower Dam in Patagonia; Chilean Non-profit Applies to Obtain Water Rights for Conservation Purposes
Puerto Montt, Chile, Mon., September 5, 2016 –– Endesa Chile, a multinational energy company with US $4.2 billion in 2015 revenues, relinquished rights last week to develop large hydroelectricity projects on the Futaleufu River in Chile’s Patagonia region. According to a press release issued by the company, the decision was made at a board meeting of Endesa’s Board of Directors. Prior to renouncing the rights, the company unsuccessfully spent six months trying to find a buyer for the water rights, which under Chile’s water code can be bought and sold like other private goods.
Futaleufu Riverkeeper, a Chilean nonprofit and a member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance, went to the Notary Public of Chaiten on Friday to verify the water rights to the Futaleufu were renounced. Following this confirmation, Futaleufu Riverkeeper’s team met with the Governor of the Province, Carlos Javier Salas Castro, to indicate the nonprofit’s goal of obtaining the water rights for conservation purposes until a more permanent solution is developed. Following this meeting, Futaleufu Riverkeeper submitted a request to obtain the water rights. This is an unprecedented move for a river of such importance.
New Executive Director and Riverkeeper
FUTALEUFU, Los Lagos Region, Chile, March 8th, 2016 – Futaleufu Riverkeeper, the first Waterkeeper program in Patagonia, has appointed Rocio de Pilar Gonzalez Saldivia as its new Executive Director and Riverkeeper. The organization, based in the Patagonian village of Futaleufu, is responsible for organizing the local, national and international campaigns to protect the Futaleufú River, one of the most emblematic waterways in South America.
Rocio -or “Chio”- as she is known by friends – is a native of the Los Lagos Region who has lived in the Futaleufu watershed since 2013. Before moving to Futaleufu, Chio worked for seven years as a government official in Puerto Montt. During her tenure she supervised over a hundred international volunteers. She first began working with Futaleufu Riverkeeper in 2014, most recently serving as Project Director where she supervised local zoning efforts and organized community events.
Committee on Climate Change labels government plans for climate action insufficient.
Santiago, Chile – A new study has been launched by the Chilean Citizens’ Committee on Climate Change showing that by switching to 100% renewable energy by 2050 the country could: avoid spending $5.3 billion a year on fossil fuels, save 1,500 lives a year due to reduced air-pollution in Santiago alone, and create 11,000 green jobs.
This study conducted by the NewClimate Institute is one of a series of reports demonstrating the significant benefits to Chile and other countries – including the U.S., China, Japan, Australia, and the European Union – if they get on track to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.
The reports assess the benefits delivered in terms of lives and money saved, and jobs created by their proposed climate action commitments – also known as INDCS – and what more they stand to gain if they boosted their efforts in line with a fossil fuel phase out.
Yale’s Environmental Protection Clinic Sends Investigators to Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile, 01/27/2015 – To support Futaleufú Riverkeeper and other organizations working for a cleaner energy future, investigators from Yale Law School’s Environmental Protection Clinic flew to Chile this month to present studies on new ways for promoting non-conventional renewable energies. The investigators, who are completing post-graduate degrees at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, spent three weeks in Chile meeting with government officials, private sector leaders, NGOs, and local stakeholders in the Futaleufú valley, located in the Los Lagos region in northern Patagonia. In Santiago, they presented their findings to officials at the National Energy Commission and the Ministries of Energy, Interior, Foreign Relations, and Agriculture. The visit also coincided with the annual dinner for the Chilean Association of Renewable Energy (ACERA), during which ACERA’s director Carlos Finat thanked the researchers for helping to promote non-conventional renewable energies.
Futaleufú Riverkeeper’s International Director, American attorney Patrick J. Lynch, spoke about the benefits of the research provided by the investigators from Yale University, one of the world’s premier research institutions. “Having Yale researchers come to Chile is a big step for showing how we do not need large dams in the country.”
Chilean financial press reports cancellation of second-largest hydro project in Chile, citing Futaleufú Riverkeeper and local opposition as reasons
SANTIAGO, Chile, 10/23/2014 –Chile’s financial press is reporting that Endesa, a multinational company which currently owns the water rights to the Futaleufú River and had planned to build three large dams, has removed the project from its energy portfolio. However, Endesa continues to own the water rights to the Futaleufú and several other rivers in Chile, and fears remain among environmental advocates that the project will be restarted or sold to another energy company unless the river is permanently protected.
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Mining, Dams, Other Threats to Unprotected Futaleufu River Revealed in Patagon Journal Magazine
SANTIAGO, 08/21/2013 – The latest edition of the bilingual magazine Patagon Journal exposes several threats to the Futaleufú River, a globally-renowned river located in Chile’s Palena province, including a controversial hydroelectric dam project by multinational company Endesa. The issue also includes an exclusive interview with American attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international organization with more than 200 affiliates worldwide and a key backer of one of Chile’s newest environmental organizations, Fundación Futaleufú Riverkeeper.
Click here to download the PDF. In the Press!