Wholesome marine ecosystems play a key position in local weather mitigation by capturing and locking away carbon, along with supporting human livelihoods and effectively‑being.

It’s due to this fact very important to pursue the safety and restoration of our seas hand in hand with, and with equal ambition to the growth of offshore renewables in our efforts to struggle the character and local weather disaster. Sensitivity maps are a robust instrument for shielding nature while facilitating the required speedy transition to renewable vitality to scale back international emissions.

Offshore wind is a low-cost, confirmed know-how that has a key position to play within the renewable vitality transition. And whereas the EU has set bold targets for the speedy growth of offshore wind technology, it should not neglect that this can add further stress to our seas that are already in a dire state because of current pressures from different human actions.

Gannet, copyright Glyn Sellors, from the surfbirds galleries

If positioned in poorly chosen areas, offshore wind farms can find yourself doing much more hurt to fragile marine ecosystems, with seabirds being notably delicate. With its new technique, REPowerEU, the EU goals to speed up, simplify, and shorten the allowing guidelines for renewables. As a part of the technique, they’re requiring EU nations to quickly establish and designate devoted ‘go-to areas’ for offshore wind growth. However this accelerated strategy considerably will increase the danger of renewables being developed in areas that can hurt nature at sea.

However all is just not misplaced. With sensitivity maps, Member States can obtain strategic spatial planning of offshore wind growth. While not changing site-specific assessments of environmental impacts, sensitivity maps can dramatically cut back conflicts with nature by figuring out areas the place the unfavourable impacts of offshore wind farms and grid infrastructure will likely be larger or decrease. Having this info permits the number of areas for growth that reduce hurt to nature thereby lowering uncertainty, saving time and ultimately prices for builders. Sensitivity maps will help to hurry up current planning processes, inform and corroborate environmental impression assessments as soon as areas are chosen for growth, and keep away from conflicts between stakeholders, which may result in vital delays.

BirdLife, along with its Italian and Polish Companions LIPU and OTOP, are presently growing onshore and offshore sensitivity maps to tell the strategic spatial planning of wind vitality growth in these nations.