Minimising climate change impacts requires smart mitigation efforts including clean energy solutions for people and nature
The impacts of climate change on people and nature demand a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy. Increasing energy efficiency, reducing consumption, and replacing polluting fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy are all essential strategies for reducing carbon emissions. What’s more is that those changes also deliver multiple environmental, social, and economic benefits. Yet new energy sources pose new challenges. As with fossil fuels, large-scale deployment of renewable energy without careful planning can lead to unintended environmental impacts. Policy makers, planning authorities, investors, and developers are increasingly being urged to ensure renewable energy development does not have unacceptable impacts on birds and nature.
Promoting smart clean energy solutions
The BirdLife Partnership works at the local, national, and international level to promote ambitious policy responses to the threat of climate change. BirdLife supports renewable energy development and works to ensure that it does not happen at the expense of species and ecosystems. For example, BirdLife has been working closely with the Convention on Migratory Species to adopt resolutions and guidelines to help avoid negative impacts from renewable energy infrastructure on migratory species.
Promoting bird-friendly energy infrastructure in the Red Sea flyway
BirdLife International Partners are working across the Red Sea flyway—the migratory route for more than 1.5 million soaring birds—to ensure the deployment of energy infrastructure is sustainable for wildlife. BirdLife’s Sensitivity Mapping Tool informs energy infrastructure siting to minimise impacts on soaring birds, which are particularly sensitive to wind turbines, pylons, and electricity cables.
Strategically deploying power lines minimises bird electrocutions
Scaling up renewable energy requires new infrastructure such as power lines. These are a major threat to birds, which can fly into them and be electrocuted. As part of the Renewables Grid Initiative, BirdLife International helps prevent bird electrocutions by working with industry to replace or insulate dangerous support poles, strategically locate infrastructure, and develop and implement better practices that reduce the risk of bird collisions.
Promoting environmental safeguards for bioenergy
The EU’s policies to tackle climate change have promoted the use of biofuels in transport. These biofuels, largely agricultural crops, contribute to direct and indirect clearing of natural habitat and, as a result, a perverse increase in carbon emissions. BirdLife Europe’s persistent advocacy has contributed to the approval of new EU legislation–the first of its kind in the world–in 2015 that limits the share of food-based biofuels.