BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. The BirdLife Partnership operates in over 100 countries and territories worldwide with over 2.5 million members, 10 million supporters and over a million hectares owned or managed. It is the world's largest partnership of conservation organisations. Together the BirdLife Partnership forms the leading authority on the status of birds, their habitats and the issues and problems affecting bird life.
The development of renewable energy sources is an essential element in fighting climate change. However, some measures intended to contribute to climate change mitigation, like unsustainably produced biofuels, are posing new threats and stresses on birds and their habitats. BirdLife works to promote effective emissions reductions using renewables without harming ecosystems and biodiversity, both at international and European levels.
BirdLife Europe supports action to cut Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions through energy savings and displacing fossil energy with clean, sustainable, renewable energy sources. To be sustainable, harm to birds and biodiversity must be avoided, and Europe’s most important sites for wildlife must be protected. This means the development of renewable energy sources must follow a strategic approach, so that the most appropriate energy sources are exploited in the most appropriate places.
BirdLife strongly supports the achievement of the EU’s 20% renewable energy target. We believe it is an essential element in the fight against global climate change. With current policies and prevailing technologies, however, meeting the transport target using liquid biofuels does not meet the ecological sustainability criteria above. Therefore, BirdLife cannot support this element of the targets, and calls for greater use of energy savings, electrification of transport and other ecologically acceptable renewables instead. This report explains why we support sustainable renewables deployment, and shows how policy makers can help to meet Europe’s renewables targets in harmony with nature.