Energy policies' effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services  back to the theme

Call for knowledge ( Archived)

How are European energy policies affecting biodiversity and ecosystem services in countries globally?

Member: Eszter Kelemen

Date: 23.01.2018



While a renewable energy transition is an unavoidable pathway for decarbonisation, some studies documented its effects on marine ecosystems, avian biodiversity, competing land use for food production, habitat loss and deforestation (i.e biofuels), with potential spillovers beyond the EU territorial boundaries. Other trade-offs may occur such as manufacturing hazards due to a growing demand of extractive resources needed in the fabrication of batteries and solar panels. In addition, important controversies currently animate the political debates centred on the role of nuclear energy and hydropower to support a fossil fuel free future, yet putting pressure on landscapes, biodiversity and ecosystems in Europe and beyond.

The full cost and benefits of opting for renewable energy when compared to the opportunity costs of renouncing conventional ones needs to be synthesized through collating existing knowledge and case studies. It is certainly understood that conventional energy sources likewise have impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services globally. We are therefore interested in any reference to material, including grey literature and as yet unpublished results that refer to the following questions:

  • What analyses exist that explore the EU energy policy strategy and related telecoupling effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services?
  • What are the SDG targets and interlinkages that the EU energy policy tries to pursue (also indirectly) and what are the systemic trade-offs and co-benefits that are created beyond the territorial boundaries, where, at what scale, and who are the affected winners and losers?
  • What policies and governance mechanisms could remedy these impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services; or in hindsight, how could one have chosen pathways to more sustainable development?
  • What are the recurrent patterns of interactions (nexus), cascading effects, etc.?
  • What can be identified as leverage points and potentials for policy impact?
  • What are the positive and negative feedback loops that may point to decarbonisation pathways?
  • Are there any time issues, irreversibility?
  • What is the relevance of context (place, scale, time)?
  • What are the governance and transformation interventions that can potentially be applied? Lessons learnt?
  • What are the main knowledge gaps?

We encourage contributions of knowledge by 20th February 2018. To read more about this call and the request process, please refer to the Call for Knowledge (CfK 3/2018) on our Open Calls page or check the attached pdf document.


Keywords: Biodiversity (incl. observation), Bioenergy/biofuel, Ecosystem services
Last edited: 24.01.2018 08:33 (GMT) - by Eszter Kelemen
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