In the context of the European Commission’s REPowerEU Plan we are faced with an urgent need to boost renewables and grid deployment while also addressing the complexities of deploying them at scale in European seas. The impact that infrastructure will have on nature in the marine environment is of great concern and we need to find environmentally friendly ways to plan and deploy the necessary infrastructure while meeting biodiversity conservation and restoration targets. To achieve this, a common understanding of the key environmental concepts in policy discussions will support all sectoral actors in accelerating ecologically-sound offshore wind energy.
This webinar is based on the conclusions of the discussion paper on 'Essential Environmental Concepts for the Offshore Wind Energy Sector in Europe' published by the Renewables Grid Initiative with contributions from members of the Offshore Coalition for Energy and Nature. The report author shed light on selected environmental concepts which are currently being used in policy discussions, position papers and statements concerning the rapid deployment of offshore renewables wind and subsea cables in Europe.
The webinar aimed to showcase different interpretations on issues such as:
- What does Ecosystem-based Approach (EbA) mean in the context of maritime spatial planning?
- What is the difference between nature-based solutions (NbS) and nature inclusive design (NID)?
- How can we define restoration in the marine environment?
The webinar also touched on suggested next steps regarding how relevant actors can better employ these concepts and align their usage to accelerate offshore energy deployment in a sustainable manner.
The presentation was followed by a discussion with input from key contributors to the paper and a Q&A session with the author.
About the speaker: Dr PJ Stephenson is an independent conservation and sustainability consultant, chair of the IUCN SSC Species Monitoring Specialist Group and a Research Fellow at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He compiled and edited the final version of the discussion paper on 'Essential Environmental Concepts for the Offshore Wind Energy Sector in Europe'
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