- Climate change is a major threat to people and biodiversity, and renewable energy must be one of the foundations for combating climate change, combined with enormous increases in energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption. - Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by Parties to the Paris Agreement should be ambitious and highlight how emission reductions will be achieved in the coming years through different appropriate measures, including the promotion of renewable energy and energy savings. - Energy generation, including renewables, can have damaging consequences for nature if sited in important areas for wildlife and this is recognised across several international fora. - National energy plans, with full Strategic Environmental Assessment (‘SEA’) and associated environmental sensitivity maps, should be used to indicate the expected relative contribution of the marine and terrestrial environments to achieving renewable energy objectives. - In the marine environment, the ecological carrying capacity of a specific ocean basin or coastal zone determines and ultimately limits quantitative targets for offshore renewable energy developments1. - Renewable energy and related infrastructure projects must not add any further pressure to marine species or habitats with unfavourable conservation status. - Combating climate change and implementing renewable energy may in some cases be an Imperative Reason of Overriding Public Interest, but a particular project should never be considered as such in order to be authorised in a protected area or to allow it to affect a species with an unfavourable conservation status. - Instead, less damaging alternative projects should be enacted following a process that incorporates: (i) national assessment of emission reduction solutions, (ii) comprehensive data collection and modelling of habitats and species, (iii) production of ecological sensitivity map(s), (iv) Strategic Environmental Assessment and the creation of national government’s Marine Spatial Plans (MSPs), and (v) project specific Appropriate Assessments (within the EU) and Environmental Impact Assessments before any project consents are issued. 1. Offshore renewable energy includes wind energy installation and other marine renewable energy technologies (e.g. tidal, wave, current, thermal, floating solar) - Cumulative and in combination impacts, including impacts from other sectors and transboundary impacts, must be fully considered in the development of Marine Spatial Plans. - Protected areas, together with a buffer zone, are generally highly sensitive, and therefore very unlikely to be suitable for any development, and should, for precautionary avoidance and legal certainty, be as much as possible excluded from any offshore renewable energy development and related electricity grid network infrastructure, where in some countries they already exclude offshore renewable energy developments in national decree. - Independent rigorous research and monitoring should be implemented, funded by national governments and the energy sector in consultation with relevant experts, to improve our understanding of the impacts of offshore renewable energy developments on nature conservation in the marine environment.