WWF conference: expanding EU offshore wind in a nature-friendly way

Posted on May, 15 2024

In January 2024, over 100 attendees and 30 speakers came together to explore how to secure a positive future for blue energy policies in Europe – here’s what they had to say.
On 23 and 24 January 2024, WWF’s event “Turbines and Tides: Expanding EU offshore wind in a nature-friendly way” took place at TownHall Europe in Brussels.

This forum was an opportunity for stakeholders to explore the future of offshore wind policies in Europe – one that not only creates the necessary conditions for the deployment of renewable energy in line with the Paris Agreement, but also delivers on the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 and the Montreal-Kunming Global Biodiversity Framework.

Participants and speakers included representatives from EU and national decision-making bodies, civil society, industries and academia. 

This summary report seeks to distil the key messages from each session and provides WWF recommendations on how the EU, its Member States, industry and civil society can support the development of nature-friendly offshore wind in Europe and abroad.

WWF policy recommendations

  1. The EU and its Member States must immediately stop subsidising fossil fuels, and channel public and private funding into nature-friendly renewable energy projects (including offshore wind) to help the most vulnerable households access clean and affordable energy.
  2. The EU must set targets to halve its energy consumption by 2040, and to reach a 100% renewable energy system by the same date, based on well-planned and nature-friendly deployment of renewables such as wind and solar.
  3. The EU must revise the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive to ensure that an ecosystem-based approach is applied when deploying offshore renewables, allowing the EU to achieve both its renewable energy and biodiversity targets.
  4. Non-price criteria in wind project tenders must become mandatory and harmonised to the fullest extent possible across the EU, taking regional specificities into consideration.
Cover page of summary report on WWF's 2024 conference about expanding EU offshore wind in a nature-friendly way. The imagery is a collage of photographs from the conference.
© WWF European Policy Office