Biodiversiteit centraal in Europese Ministerraad

Biodiversiteit centraal in Europese Ministerraad
Biodiversiteit centraal in Europese Ministerraad

De Europese Ministers van zowel Milieu als Energie komen binnenkort bijeen om de synergie te bespreken tussen biodiversiteit en hernieuwbare energie. Dit past in het plan om tot een Europees energiebeleid te komen. Een nadere toelichting over deze voornemens volgt hieronder, in het Engels:

Energy Union

The energy union and its impact on the environment will be the focus of discussions during the informal meetings of the member states’ environment and energy ministers to be held in Riga on 14 and 15 April, first separately and then in a joint session. At the heart of the debate is the question of how to minimise the impact on biodiversity of the development of renewable energy and, in particular, the anticipated rise in demand for energy from biomass and of agricultural origin?

The environment ministers will start the ball rolling on 14 April with an initial debate organised in the context of the review, anticipated this year, of the EU’s biodiversity strategy. The starting point is the findings of the European Environment Agency (EEA) in its' report on the state of the environment in Europe. The EU is far from being on the road to achieving its 2020 objectives in terms of biodiversity protection. On the contrary, ecosystems continue to deteriorate and medium and short-term prospects, in the context of current policies, are negative. How can this situation be improved?

To launch the debate, the Latvian EU Presidency poses a series of questions to the ministers. How can protection and local, regional and national restoration initiatives contribute to green growth? How can the natural capital agenda be better targeted and considered in the context of the revision of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy? What are the prospects for the revision of the biodiversity strategy?  What prevents the EU from achieving its objectives?

While there are clearly gaps in terms of the implementation of existing legislation, it is also clear that there is a genuine need to integrate this aspect into the various sectoral policies, an issue that will be on the table of the second working session. This time the Presidency is inviting ministers to present national and regional experiences in the various sectors and to identify those that offer the greatest potential for biodiversity integration. What can the EU do, it subsequently asks them, to encourage the sectoral integration of biodiversity and to ensure that the operation will be a ‘win-win’ one?

Reconciling biodiversity and energy

Both a factor and victim of climate change, biodiversity has much to lose but also to gain according to future energy choices. Joined, on 15 April, by the energy ministers for a joint session, the twenty-eight will discuss means of reconciling the development of renewable energy with biodiversity protection in the context of the energy union. It is not just about the diversification of energy sources – and the objective of achieving “at least” 27% of renewables in the energy mix by 2030 -  or the impact on biodiversity of energy crops and forests but also about the impact of infrastructures, whether it be a question of the danger posed by turbine blades to birds or the implementation of distribution networks. A “smart” policy, which minimises negative environmental impacts while bringing expected economic benefits, must be possible.

Here again, the Presidency questions the member states: how can the protection of the environment be reconciled with the increased use of renewable energy? Do they have national plans with regard to renewable energy in order to minimise conflicts with biodiversity? What are they? Have the member states drawn up national criteria to guide the “ecological” development of renewables? And, lastly, can the principle of technical neutrality of the various sources of renewable energy be beneficial both to environmental policy and energy policy?

Platform BEE

Dit artikel verscheen eerder op de website van het Platform Biodiversiteit, Ecosystemen & Economie. De activiteiten van Platform BEE zijn eind 2016 beëindigd, maar de casussen die de helpdesk van het platform heeft behandeld zijn nog steeds waardevol. Ze bevatten lessen, uitdagingen, tips en oplossingen op het gebied van Natuurlijk Kapitaal. Via deze link kom je bij alle artikelen van Platform BEE.

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