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Launch of the ‘Key Principles for a Bird-Friendly Electricity Grid in Europe’ from the European conservation community

Environmental NGOs across Europe have outlined 7 principles for a bird-friendly electricity grids, emphasizing the need for nature-positive measures to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The recent workshop titled ‘Connecting Biodiversity’ organised by our partner Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) in November 2023, brought together 20 environmental NGOs from 12 European countries to discuss the status-quo of bird protection along the electricity grid, and identify priorities and next steps towards bird-friendly electricity grid infrastructure.

The outcomes of the workshop have been summarised in a newly launched document, offering an overview of key principles endorsed by 24 civil society signatories across 18 countries and international organisations.

In a bid to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, environmental NGOs are calling for the accelerated reinforcement and expansion of electricity grid infrastructure, integrating nature-positive measures to protect bird species. Key measures including avoiding construction in sensitive areas, installing bird flight diverters to reduce collision risk, using bird-friendly pole designs to reduce electrocution, and burying power lines underground where feasible.

The 7 principles serve as guiding points to be considered by decision-makers and further discussed with relevant stakeholders:

  1. Meaningful and constructive European multi-stakeholder exchanges.

  2. Member State level collaborations.

  3. Sustainable funding sources for civil society.

  4. Standardisation of bird data collection within an open-source approach.

  5. Comprehensive nation-wide bird risk maps.

  6. Improved implementation of the European legislative and regulatory framework.

  7. Strong European technical guidelines.

The participants highlighted the necessity of strong collaboration among various stakeholders, including electricity grid operators, to effectively implement these principles. Therefore a follow-up workshop, organised by RGI, will take place at the Wingspan2024 conference in Brussels from 15-17 October 2024. This event will provide a unique opportunity for grid operators and other key stakeholders to exchange with NGOs, explore steps towards implementation, and forge partnerships for a bird-friendly European electricity grid.

Download the full document here in English, French, German, Greek and Albanian.

English_Key Principles for a Bird-Friendly Grid in Europe - From the European conservation
Download • 3.81MB

Français_Principes clés pour un réseau électrique respectueux des oiseaux en Europe
Download • 1.25MB

Deutsch_Prinzipien für ein vogelfreundliches Stromnetz in Europa
Download • 1.32MB

Ελληνική_Βασικές αρχές για ένα φιλικό προς τα πουλιά δίκτυο ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας στην Ευρώ
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Shqip_Parimet kryesore për një rrjet elektrik miqësor ndaj shpendëve në Evropë
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