Biodiversity is, and always has been, the solution to some of our biggest challenges. It offers nature-based solutions to issues around climate, health, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods.
Indeed, it is the foundation on which we can build back better.
“Building a shared future for all life” is the theme of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity which takes place this Sunday, 22 May. The event will focus on how biodiversity could solve some of the most complex issues of our time.
But biodiversity is under threat. Over 80% of natural habitats have been damaged due to unsustainable practices in the European Union. The factors driving this biodiversity loss include land-use change, the over-exploitation of natural resources, and farming.
And there’s an even bigger threat on the horizon. By 2050, climate change will be the leading cause of biodiversity loss. Cutting emissions and sequestering carbon is vital to preventing ecosystem collapse, and in turn, ensuring our own well-being and future health.
Almost two years ago, leading climate and biodiversity experts emphasised the importance of tackling climate change and biodiversity loss together. Their joint IPCC-IPBES report said it was vital to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss simultaneously. Moreover, the scientists pointed out that solutions addressing both issues were likely to be more successful.
We can’t address climate change without increasing the rollout of renewable energy projects. Yet, it can take from four to six years to build new installations. This is, in part, due to biodiversity-related issues. However, these permitting challenges only further delay the action that is urgently needed to address both crises together.
As 2030 (the deadline for the EU to increase its renewable energy capacity by over 500 GW) looms, Eurelectric has been investigating the potential of cutting emissions while protecting biodiversity. We’ve been working with leading utility companies and civil society to identify best practices in the deployment of renewable energy while simultaneously restoring nature.
Discover more about our innovative Power Plant project, which aims to bridge the divide between renewable energy generation and nature restoration, at the Power Summit on 16 June.