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European Movement International

11/19/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/19/2020 05:14

EEB: EU offshore wind strategy must ensure protection of marine habitats

NGOs welcome a proposal to scale up offshore windfarms but raise concerns over its potentially negative impact on marine habitats.
The European Commission will unveil today its masterplan to increase offshore wind capacity as part of its clean energy transition and climate neutrality plans.

The strategy - one of the pillars of the European Green Deal - is set to gather almost €800 billion for the construction of new windfarms in EU waters, according to a leaked version that circulated this week. The Commission aims to achieve at least 300GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050, which represents a 25-fold increase compared to current levels.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) cautiously welcomed the plan, arguing that wind power capacity will need to be scaled up in the next 10 to 30 years to help Europe achieve climate neutrality.

However, the EEB - together with its member Seas at Risk - called for the adoption of complementary measures aimed at monitoring its impact on marine habitats and prevent biodiversity loss.

The construction and operation of fixed-bottom turbines can potentially harm sea mammals, birds and fish, which may be affected by the loud noise in their search for food and throughout migratory routes.

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