Australia, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar, Storage

Groups call for a nature-friendly renewable future

renewable energy, clean energy,

A coalition of 14 leading Australian organisations from different sectors is calling on Federal and State Governments to ensure the rapid transition to renewable energy is nature-friendly.

In a joint statement, the groups including the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF-Australia, Greenpeace, and others expressed unified support for renewable power to replace coal and gas.

However, they stressed that new wind, solar and transmission projects must avoid damaging vital habitats and ecosystems.

“Renewable energy, when it’s well-sited and managed, is a benefit to nature because it helps combat global warming fuelled by burning gas and coal, which poses a grave risk to nature and is already pushing some species towards extinction,” the statement outlined.

“We need big new renewable energy projects and transmission lines connecting solar and wind farms to the grid, but new energy projects can’t come at the expense of the animals, plants, oceans, rivers, forests and places we love and depend on.”

The groups highlighted the need for stronger national environmental laws and clearer state planning regulations to guide the “big renewables build” in a nature-friendly way.

They called for comprehensive assessments to avoid placing projects in areas of high conservation value on Australia’s “over-cleared continent.”

“The roll out of renewable energy infrastructure can happen while preserving and restoring biodiversity. There is absolutely no need, on our over-cleared continent, to knock down rainforests or irreplaceable wildlife habitat for renewable energy projects,” the statement said.

“Healthy forests, oceans, wetlands and mangroves store carbon and help limit climate damage, as well as being home to the wildlife we love.”

The conservation groups also emphasised the importance of partnering with First Nations people as traditional custodians of the land.

They welcomed the Federal Budget’s $168.1 million allocation to improve community engagement around major renewable projects.

While supporting the transition from fossil fuels, the groups firmly rejected nuclear power as a “non-solution” that would delay clean energy deployment, raise electricity prices, and create radioactive waste risks.

“Our future is renewable, powered by energy that’s good for people and the places and wildlife they love,” the joint statement said.

The statement is signed by:

Australian Conservation Foundation

Australian Marine Conservation Society

BirdLife Australia

Conservation Council of West Australia

Environment Centre NT

Friends of the Earth Australia

Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Mineral Policy Institute


Sea Shepherd Australia

Smart Energy Council

Voices of the Valley

Wilderness Society


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