On May 31, 2022, the heads of state of the European Union discussed the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan to respond to the energy crisis, made worse by the war in Ukraine. This plan provides for a massive investment in renewable energy (RE). On June 2nd in France, Elisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister, announced an acceleration of their development. We welcome these objectives but request that this energy transition not be at the expense of biodiversity.

The challenge of reconciling the protection of biodiversity and the development of renewable energies is more relevant than ever for Europe and for France through ecological planning. In this sense, we welcome the propositions of the European Commission for the installation of photovoltaic panels on buildings and to identify preferred areas that would automatically exclude Natura 2000 sites, protected areas, and bird migration corridors.

Each RE project must be the subject of a rigorous impact study with the realization of a complete initial state of the species and natural habitats present, to locally measure its impacts and act to avoid, reduce, and compensate for them.

Finally, we must invest more in filling knowledge gaps of biodiversity and avoid setting up in areas where ecological issues are realized too late and co-construct these projects with citizens and all the stakeholders of the regions.

Find the whole article here: https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2022/07/06/la-transition-energetique-ne-doit-pas-se-faire-au-detriment-de-la-biodiversite_6133584_3232.html

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