What drives safeguarding for China’s hydropower projects in LDCs?
China has a leading role in building large hydropower dams in developing nations, partly in the name of sustainable development. Rather than debating whether or not large hydropower truly offers clean green energy, this paper explores how to engage constructively with improving dam projects’ sustainable development impacts via social and environmental safeguarding practices. Focusing primarily on Chinese investments in the Least Developed Countries, we examine the practices of hydropower companies and their financiers, and what drives these activities. We discuss the mechanisms underpinning companies’ adoption of social and environmental safeguarding, and how these might be influenced so that safeguarding is strengthened.