They'll be dammed: the sustainability implications of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) in Malaysia

Sovacool, Benjamin K and Bulan, L C (2013) They'll be dammed: the sustainability implications of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) in Malaysia. Sustainability Science, 8 (1). pp. 121-133. ISSN 1862-4065

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Abstract

This article examines the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy in Malaysia, or SCORE, a US $105 billion infrastructure development plan in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, from a sustainability standpoint. SCORE aims to build 20,000 megawatts of hydroelectric dams along a 320 km corridor comprising more than 70,000 km2 by 2030. The article begins by explaining social science methods utilized for its research interviews and site visits. It then argues that sustainability consists of seven principles articulated in international law: prudence, equity, responsibility, precaution, justice, governance, and compatibility. Next, the paper introduces readers to SCORE before assessing it according to these seven sustainability criteria. The paper finds that SCORE erodes environmental prudence by emitting millions of tons of carbon dioxide and feeding industries that will pollute the land and water. It worsens intergenerational equity by exacerbating poverty and consolidating wealth for corporations and politicians. It degrades responsibility by intensifying tropical deforestation and flaunts precaution by downplaying and ignoring risks to water quality and availability. It is unjust, imposing dams on communities and forcibly relocating thousands of indigenous people, mitigates good governance by condoning bribes and kickbacks along with the violent suppression of dissent, and is incompatible with Malaysia’s own energy policy targets and international standards.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 16:28
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 16:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58349
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