WWF's position on offshore renewable energy and nature

Posted on May, 20 2021

To limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C as set in the Paris Agreement, the EU must achieve climate neutrality by 2040, thereby eliminating fossil fuels and achieving a 100% renewables-based energy supply as soon as possible.
Offshore renewable energy constitutes an essential part of the energy transition towards a resilient and fully decarbonized economy, and is indispensable in achieving a climate neutral Europe.

Tremendous efforts at EU level are now needed to provide the enabling conditions for substantially increasing renewable energy capacity by 2030.

At the same time, development of offshore renewables adds to the already numerous other economic at-sea activities, which add their own pressures to marine ecosystems.

Thus, offshore renewable energy projects must be considered within the broader context of our ocean’s degrading health due to overexploitation of resources, pollution, acidification and habitat destruction, to name a few causes.

Beyond implications for biodiversity, this trend is problematic from a climate perspective, as the ocean plays a vital role in regulating our planet’s climate.

This paper sets out WWF's position on offshore renewables and nature in the EU. 
The EU must increase renewable energy from offshore wind. But it must leave for our seas and marine life to recovery and thrive. The climate and biodiversity crises are intertwined.
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