AWWI Publishes Climatic Change Paper: Thinking Globally and Siting Locally

American Wind Wildlife Institute Publishes Climatic Change Paper:

Thinking Globally and Siting Locally: Renewable Energy and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Warming World 

(WASHINGTON D.C. – May 1, 2014) The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) published a new paper in the scientific journal Climatic Change titled Thinking Globally and Siting Locally: Renewable Energy and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Warming World.

The article was written by two AWWI board members:  Dr. Peter Frumhoff, a global change ecologist and chief scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Dr. Terry Root, a climate and conservation scientist at Stanford University, and Dr. Taber Allison, the Director of Research and Evaluation for the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI). The paper seeks to reconcile the risks that wind energy may pose to local wildlife with its benefits for reducing carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, thereby helping to reduce the threats of severe climate change on the world’s biodiversity.

“Climate change is a deal-breaker for the conservation of global biodiversity,” said Dr. Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists in a recent blog post. “Limiting its pace and the severity of impacts to species and ecosystems will require a swift transition away from fossil fuels, including through the accelerated build-out of wind and other low-carbon sources of renewable energy.”

“AWWI is working to develop and advance best practices for avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating impacts to wildlife from wind energy development,” said Dr. Taber Allison. “We also provide a forum for reconciling the challenges in reducing these uncertainties while developing wind energy at the pace and scale needed to limit the much greater risks for global biodiversity from unlimited climate change.”

Thinking Globally and Siting Locally – Renewable Energy and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Warming World calls for a framework to:

1. Continue efforts to strategically locate and operate renewable energy projects to minimize impacts to wildlife from such development

2. Understand the potentially far greater risks to global biodiversity from increased wildlife extinction owing to unlimited climate change, and

3. Acknowledge that research will not eliminate uncertainty regarding wildlife impacts in advance of the scale of development needed to limit global warming.

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The American Wind Wildlife Institute is a partnership of leaders in the wind industry, wildlife management agencies, and science and environmental organizations who collaborate on a shared mission: to facilitate timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat. We envision a future where wildlife and wind energy thrive, allowing all of us — wildlife and habitat included — to reap the climate change mitigation benefits that wind energy makes possible.  Learn more at awwi.org.

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