Nature Restoration Regulation - The Nature Conservancy and Eurelectric Joint Letter

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Industry and civil society jointly support the Nature Restoration Regulation

We, as organisations representing the European Power Sector and civil society both committed to the protection and restoration of nature, are writing to reiterate our support for European Commission’s proposal for an EU Nature Restoration Regulation.

As we are all aware, the world is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis. Biodiversity loss is occurring at an alarming rate, with many species facing extinction due to habitat destruction, urban sprawl and pollution. Climate change will only add fuel to the fire, as it is set to become the leading driver of biodiversity loss by 2050. Addressing these crises requires a holistic approach, and it is critical that the European Union take a leading role in this effort.

Accelerated deployment of renewables is compatible with nature restoration

The EU faces a complex challenge of balancing energy security, affordability, and sustainability while transitioning towards a decarbonised economy. The high and volatile energy prices and the need to increase energy independence call for an accelerated shift towards renewable energy sources. We, as civil society and industry leaders, see strong complementarity between these challenges and are convinced this accelerated deployment should and can be compatible with the EU’s nature restoration objectives.

Early EU-wide clarity and confidence for operators and investors is needed

We call for an integrated approach towards meeting Europe’s biodiversity, climate and renewable energy objectives. The Nature Restoration Regulation has the potential to provide a clear, forward-looking legal framework that removes judicial uncertainties and leads to win-win outcomes. While we recognise that renewable energy generation may at times conflict with nature objectives, well-designed projects offer significant benefits to biodiversity. How this is put in practice and what successes can be reached is reflected in projects such as Eurelectric’s Power Plant. The Nature Restoration Regulation can help provide clarity on how such best practice can be accelerated and unlock further investment in renewable energy and nature restoration.

Nature restoration is critical for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Following the outcomes of the Biodiversity COP 15, including the adoption of the new Global Biodiversity Framework, the proposed EU Nature Restoration Regulation presents a key opportunity for the EU’s 27 Member States to further demonstrate global leadership towards the goals that were agreed in Montreal in December 2022. Nature restoration is essential to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. It can also contribute to reducing and avoiding emissions from land and enhance the capacity of ecosystems to sequester carbon. In addition, resilience to climate change-related risks and extremes such as floods, droughts, forest fires and extreme temperatures, which are being felt more and more in Europe and around the world, can be increased by nature restoration. Nature restoration generates economic benefits and creates jobs. The Commission’s impact assessment estimates that every euro spent on restoration delivers a return on investment between €8 and €38.

We stand ready to extend our support to seek innovative and integrated solutions that work simultaneously for industry, nature, and communities, and that provide a win-win for accelerating investments in renewable energies, tackling climate change, restoring nature and ensuring communities’ well-being.

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