Iberdrola to co-organise a forum on renewables and biodiversity at COP 28

  • Meeting the target of tripling renewables makes biodiversity protection plans more necessary than ever
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships are the key to accelerating the energy transition by creating social and natural value. 
  • The company has been working for years on these measures within the Convive Programme.

Iberdrola, together with BirdLife International, has promoted the organisation of a high-level forum on renewables and biodiversity within the COP 28 that is being held these days in Dubai. The goal of tripling renewable capacity by 2030 is one of the key calls of COP 28 and is at the heart of a successful just energy transition in the run-up to a net-zero economy, as dictated by various policies. Climate change is advancing at an ever-faster pace and renewables are positioned as an essential lever to fight fast and effectively to reduce emissions and minimise the impacts of climate change on people and nature.

Under the title "Positive renewable energy for biodiversity: building alliances to move forward", this presentation held in the We Mean Business pavilion, within the Blue Zone, brought together experts and representatives of different entities: María Mendiluce, CEO We Mean Business; Emilio Tejedor, Director of Environment of Iberdrola; Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals; Kristen Panerali, Head of Clean Energy, Networks and Electrification of the World Economic Forum; Beverley Cornaby, Director of the Corporate Leaders Group in the United Kingdom and lead of CISL; Ignacio Lorenzo, Director of Biodiversity and Climate Technical Advisory at the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean; Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President of WBCSD; Rebecca Williams, Global Head of Offshore Wind Energy, Global Wind Energy Council, GWEC; and Nina Mikander, Global Policy Director of BirdLife International who moderated the event and gave the final conclusions.

This high-level conversation between key actors and global alliances has showcased success stories on the positive biodiversity impacts of an accelerated renewable transition and laid the groundwork for potential partnerships and collaborations to contribute to a positive future for nature. 

On behalf of Iberdrola, Emilio Tejedor, Director of the Environment, said "forums like this one in a global framework allow us to learn about best practices and apply them, as well as create synergies that help protect the planet and its biodiversity. At Iberdrola we made this commitment years ago and we are working within the framework of our Biodiversity Plan and the Convive Programme to ensure that renewables create a symbiosis with nature, society and the economy. As part of this commitment, we are very proud to have established a partnership with BirdLife International, and this event allows us to expand our impact, our network of relationships and identify new opportunities for collaboration. 

Advancing towards the goal of tripling renewable capacity by 2030 will provide a competitive advantage in securing clean, secure and affordable energy that will drive industrial growth, prosperity and positive value for biodiversity, climate and people. This ambitious goal requires significant action and collaboration from governments, the private sector and civil society as a whole. Some of the key factors for success are the right policy support and market incentives, international cooperation among all stakeholders, investments in energy infrastructure and an accelerated electrification process. 

To contribute to global goals, the energy transition must be carried out in a way that is compatible with the need to preserve and restore nature. The good news is that this is possible thanks to a growing number of tools and solutions available to ensure that renewable energy deployment is properly sited and managed, thus contributing to enhancing biodiversity and socio-economic development benefits. 

Iberdrola's commitment to biodiversity

Iberdrola is committed to a sustainable energy model in harmony with nature and people. This model is underpinned by two main objectives: to achieve zero net emissions in all scopes by 2040 and to have a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2030, according to the Biodiversity Plan. 

Iberdrola has also launched the Convive Programme with the aim of being a continuous improvement plan that integrates all initiatives and alliances for the coexistence of renewable energies and their contribution to socioeconomic development and biodiversity conservation.

This programme includes a multitude of measures to make renewable installations fully compatible with biodiversity, agriculture, livestock farming or even beekeeping. For example, some photovoltaic installations have become real biodiversity refuges, allowing even endangered species to find a suitable living space (e.g., free of pesticides and disturbances). 

A few months ago Iberdrola and Birdlife International signed a partnership to protect biodiversity. The two organisations support a shared vision that a sustainable energy system based on renewable energy is critical to addressing the interrelated crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. If properly sited and managed, this renewable deployment can meet clean energy needs, be climate positive and, at the same time, contribute to healthy ecosystems. To this end, the partnership will unite Iberdrola and Birdlife International's efforts in advancing renewable solutions that deliver greater and long-term benefits for biodiversity, through the promotion and implementation of enabling policies, joint projects, research, science-based best practices and communications.