The Green-Green Dilemma. Reconciling the conflict between Renewable Energy and Biodiversity
Authors: Anvita Dulluri & Daniela Raț
Abstract: With the steady aggravation of the climate crisis, the agenda of climate change has become a central preoccupation of governments across the world. The urgent need to drastically reduce dependence on fossil fuels by transitioning to renewable energy sources was globally recognized as a crucial step to control emissions. The European Union, with its robust legal framework under the Renewable Energy Directive of 2009 and its ambitious 2020 target, played an exemplary role in building consensus on the need to adopt alternate energy sources. However, as member nations of the EU seek to pursue their individual 2020 targets by harnessing greater “green” energy potential, an increasing number of such projects are being sanctioned in areas protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives, demonstrating an emerging conflict between renewable energy policies and biodiversity conservation in the EU. In this paper, the contradiction manifesting between renewable energy and biodiversity policies is examined through illustrative cases of renewable energy developments, with a particular focus on hydro and wind power projects undertaken by the member nations of the EU. It argues for a need to adopt a cohesive approach towards the twin environmental concerns of climate change and biodiversity. The paper attempts to initiate critical discussion on how the goals of green energy transition may be aligned with the targets of biodiversity conservation without one environmental issue overriding the other.
Journal: The Journal of Health, Environment, & Education