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Policy Dialogue
How can Europe switch to renewables while protecting nature?

Tuesday, 11 October 2022


Antti Kohopää
Head of EU Affairs, Finnish Energy (respondent)
Cosimo Tansini
Policy Officer for Renewable Energy, European Environmental Bureau
Jutta Paulus
Member of the European Parliament
Katja Viertiö
Senior Expert, Decarbonisation and Sustainability of Energy Sources, DG Energy, European Commission
Nicola Notaro
Head of Unit, Nature Conservation, DG Environment, European Commission
Nicolas Couderc
Executive Vice President France, EDF Renewables, EDF


Stefan Sipka
Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

The rationale and urgency to accelerate the clean energy transition have never been more evident. To enhance the EU’s energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the EU must increase the deployment of renewable energy sources on the continent. As the Russian war on Ukraine affects the supply and price of energy, the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan envisages hiking up the ambition with renewables and easing permitting processes. In parallel to this, the Nature Restoration Law, proposed by the European Commission in June, would set a goal to restore 100% of the ecosystems by 2050 and ensure a continual improvement of habitats and species. The EU has set a clear direction of travel for the clean energy transition and for enhancing biodiversity. It is essential to align these agendas in the best possible way and exploit potential synergies.

This in-person Policy Dialogue explored how the EU’s shift to renewable energy sources can be achieved in a way that safeguards and enhances biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. It also considered the necessary policy framework to achieve the EU’s renewable energy targets while simultaneously protecting nature.

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