The path to avoiding catastrophic climate change is narrow. To limit global warming, Europe must drastically reduce energy and resource consumption, abandon its reliance on fossil fuels, and massively expand renewable energy production. At the same time, developing renewables and electricity grids must not come at the expense of preserving biodiversity, but should seek to maximise synergies with nature conservation.
Too often, we are given the impression that developing renewable energy automatically means sacrificing other environmental priorities or social rights. But there is ample evidence from across Europe to suggest that with careful planning, public participation and benefit sharing, renewable energy and its supporting
infrastructure can be developed in harmony with natural ecosystems, local populations, and workers’ rights.
We now have an opportunity to get it right: the revised EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) requires
governments across the EU to map their territories and identify suitable areas where permits for renewable energy installations and infrastructure can be issued in a simplified and expedited manner. Will EU governments now have the courage and will to move their countries quickly and decisively towards a
sustainable expansion of renewable energy?
With this Manifesto, we as civil society organisations and networks propose five key courses of actions that can ensure a successful acceleration of renewable energy development in harmony with our ecosystems and communities.