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07 Dec 2020, 13:55
Sören Amelang

German Greens and wind power-critical NGO find bird protection compromise – report

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The German Greens and one of the country's largest environmental organisations have reached a compromise on reconciling wind power expansion with bird protection, reports Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Following several months of negotiations, the Green Party's leadership and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) agreed on a position paper outlining how to minimise environmental damages during the further rollout of the key renewable energy technology. Nabu has around half a million members, and no other environmental NGO has been more active in the fight against specific wind power projects on environmental grounds in court, an important reason for Germany's slow progress at increasing wind power capacity in the past years.

The paper, authored by Green Party co-leader Robert Habeck, the party's energy expert Oliver Krischer, and Nabu president Jörg-Andreas Krüger, says the issue should be resolved by dividing the country's regions clearly into those with wind power, and those without. Every German state should achieve a minimum share of wind power in electricity generation, identify appropriate areas amounting to around two percent of its surface area, and not erect wind turbines elsewhere. "We accelerate the rollout of wind power and preserve species protection," Krüger said, adding it was key to fight against climate change, but also against the loss of species.

The deal pacifies an important struggle within the Green Party, also with a view to a possible government participation following next year's general elections, writes Bauchmüller. "This is proof that species protection and accelerated expansion can go hand in hand," said Habeck, according to the article, adding that no one will be able to say that green energy is more important to the party than nature.

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