Europe and Central Asia
2 Feb 2015

RSPB resolves to tackle climate change from its own backyard

© Nevian -
By BirdLife Europe

Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, tornados: the multiplication of natural catastrophes demonstrates clearly the urgency of taking climate change seriously and implementing the measures necessary to address it. The BirdLife Partnership has campaigned for years for reduction of greenhouse gas emission and transition to sustainable energy. Our Partners are also committed to reducing their own carbon footprint, notably by generating their energy needs from renewable sources wherever possible. This year, the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) will be installing a wind turbine at its headquarters at Sandy, Bedfordshire, which should help the organisation to reduce its emissions by 3%.

Ecotricity, in partnership with the RSPB, conducted assessments over three years on all aspects of the wind turbine proposal and how it could affect the surrounding area. These assessments analysed potential impacts including landscape and visual attractiveness, cultural heritage, ecology, ornithology, hydrology, noise, transport and access, and shadow flicker. In April 2014, after consulting local residents and organisations, Central Bedfordshire Council granted planning permission for the wind turbine.

The 800kw wind turbine, measuring 100m at its highest point, could be erected as early as Autumn 2015.  It is predicted to produce the equivalent of up to two thirds of the RSPB's total electricity needs across all of its UK operations, which consist of 127 sites ranging from single person offices to the headquarters, which alone houses over 500 staff.

Ivan Scrase, Acting Head of Climate Change Policy at the RSPB, said: “We know that, with the right design and location, wind turbines have little or no impact on wildlife. We hope that by siting a wind turbine at our UK headquarters, we will demonstrate to others that with a thorough environmental assessment and the right planning and design, renewable energy and a healthy, thriving environment can go hand in hand."

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