Conservationists and companies join forces to identify good practices for renewable energy development
Gland, Switzerland, 4 October 2022 – A new IUCN-led project is examining how the rapid acceleration of wind and solar development can avoid unintended impacts on nature and people.
IUCN, in collaboration with The Biodiversity Consultancy (TBC), is signing a two-year-partnership until 2024 with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and five energy companies – EDF Group, Eni, Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies – to identify criteria and tools for selecting the most optimal locations criteria for solar and wind energy development.
This new project led by IUCN and TBC will draw on a growing body of work concerning the role and placement of renewable energy schemes, and deliver practical guidance and examples of best practice for the wider industry, investors and policy makers to consider.
The project is also exploring how to minimise impact in the responsible production of raw materials used in renewable energy components but also providing guidance on managing cumulative impacts, spatial planning and opportunities for enhancing nature at solar and wind farms.
“As renewable energy is scaled up to meet global energy and climate change targets that contribute to a sustainable and equitable energy transition, we need to explore how spatial planning and cumulative impact assessments can be integrated into this development to avoid unintended impacts on biodiversity and people,” said Rachel Asante-Owusu, a Programme Manager with IUCN’s Climate Change Team.
Leon Bennun, Chief Scientist for TBC, added: ‘We are excited to embark on this second phase of the IUCN-TBC renewables partnership to help develop best practice guidance to support a nature positive transition to net zero. We hope that the activities identified under this phase, including guidance on addressing cumulative and supply chain impacts, will help both governments and developers contribute towards a sustainable future.”
Note: This second phase of work builds on an earlier project with FFI, TBC, WCS and The Nature Conservancy, along with EDF Group, EDP and Shell, which produced, Mitigating biodiversity impacts associated with solar and wind energy development: guidelines for project developers and Industry guidance for early screening of biodiversity risk for solar energy development.