Dam projects are drawing increased criticism in South America, which boasts three of the world's four biggest hydroelectric dam complexes. Chile is pushing forward with a $7 billion dam project.
On the eve of Earth Day, Brazil awarded a $10 billion contract for what will be the world's third-largest dam. Brazil says it will meet urgent energy needs, while critics say it will displace thousands of people and profoundly endanger wildlife.
Brazil’s hard-line environment minister quit last week in a move lauded by agribusiness interests.