The European Union (EU) performed a comprehensive evaluation of nature conservation directives (the so-called “Fitness check”), including public consultations which provided an opportunity to characterize the perspectives of different stakeholders on the links between biodiversity conservation and energy policy. Through content analysis, all the information related to the energy sector produced during the Fitness check was screened. The overall perception was that, compared to other policies, the EU energy policy generally did not support the objectives of the Nature Directives, with identified threats for biodiversity coming from specific activities and policy initiatives. Respondents from the energy sector recognized that the implementation of the Directives brought some improvements (e.g. improved planning of grid developments, collaboration between the energy sector and NGOs) but a number of issues requiring improvement were identified, including (a) lack of coherence with energy policies, (b) need for cost-effective implementation, (c) need for more scientific knowledge and capacity building, and (d) need for clarifications over impact evaluation and compensatory measures. As a follow up of the Fitness check, the European Commission produced an Action Plan. From my perspective, this document should be closely scrutinized by the energy sector, as it provides opportunities to engage in different activities aiming towards a better use of scientific knowledge in decision-making, clarification of rules for procedures in the scope of impact assessment, effective mitigation of impacts on biodiversity, contribution to biodiversity gains, and higher social acceptance of the sector.
Love me, love me not: Perceptions on the links between the energy sector and biodiversity conservation
Title: Love me, love me not: Perceptions on the links between the energy sector and biodiversity conservation
May 01, 2019
Journal: Energy Research & Social Science
Moreira, F. (2019). Love me, love me not: Perceptions on the links between the energy sector and biodiversity conservation. Energy Research & Social Science, 51, 134-137.