BirdLife Europe supports achieving and going beyond Europe’s 2020 renewables target, in line with four key principles:
Renewables must be low carbon
Renewable energy supply must make a significant difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, accounting for emissions from the full life-cycle.
A strategic approach to deployment is needed
Positive planning frameworks are needed so that the most appropriate energy sources are exploited in the most appropriate places.
Harm to birds and biodiversity must be avoided
Precautionary avoidance of harm to biodiversity and ecosystems is essential when locating and designing renewable energy facilities.
Europe’s most important sites for wildlife must be protected
Where significant impacts on a Natura 2000 site (those protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives) are likely, development may only proceed under strict conditions which must be robustly applied.
Wind power is one of the most advanced and affordable renewable energy technologies available today. BirdLife Europe supports its deployment onshore and offshore in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions. If well-sited and managed, wind power does not pose unacceptable risks to wildlife and it is a clean, sustainable source of almost carbon-free electricity. However, in the wrong places wind turbines can present risks to birds through collision, displacement, barrier effects and changes to habitats.
We call on national governments to introduce rigorous strategic spatial planning, to demand high standards in the application of environmental assessments and to use their planning systems to ensure wind farms do not damage Europe’s most important sites for biodiversity.
BirdLife Partners can advise on the ecological risks at specific locations and may also be able to provide developers and planners with ‘sensitivity maps’ indicating where risks to birds are likely to be lowest.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.