Chen Haisong: Impact of Wind Farm on Biodiversity & Ecological Environment and Solutions |Seminar on “Wind Photovoltaic Projects and Biodiversity Conservation”

In December, 2021, Wind Photoelectric Nature Conservation Working Group of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (referred to as the “CBCGDF Wind Photoelectric Nature Conservation Working Group”) organized a seminar around the theme of “Wind Photoelectric Project and Biodiversity Conservation”, focusing on topics such as renewable energy development and construction, biodiversity protection, and “double carbon” goals.

At the meeting, Professor Chen Haisong from the Institute of Environmental Law of Wuhan University gave an important speech on legal issues related to the impact of wind farm on biodiversity protection and ecological environment. His speech is as follows:

Thank you for the invitation from CBCGDF. I have read some materials, and this problem has exposed the shortcomings of China’s environmental legislation in the comprehensive and systematic aspects of ecological protection and biodiversity conservation, including EIA. I agree with you on the legislative revision just now. But frankly speaking, it is not fast enough to solve the problem. Legislative revision requires strict procedures and will take a long time. Experts have mentioned that wind farm have an impact on biodiversity and related natural environments. Therefore, I think first of all, we need to reflect on some of the practices in recent years. Of course, the development direction of new energy is completely correct, which is in line with the trend of carbon peak and carbon neutrality. However, it involves the balance and coordination between the interests of different areas of ecological environment, which should be viewed dialectically. In particular, on the issue of wind farm, I think we should focus on one point in particular, that is, how the relevant land was approved, and grasp this main contradiction to analyze the relevant problems. The traditional EIA does not involve land use, but in fact, whether it is photovoltaic or wind power, it will eventually be implemented. So what kind of procedure did the land use go through and whether the corresponding ecological environmental impact was considered comprehensively are very critical steps. In this way, we should not only focus on the environmental impact assessment, but also pay more attention to the approval of land use by the Department of Natural Resources. What is the process of land use approval? Is there anything worth improving in it? I think the most effective way is to include it in the supervision of ecological and environmental protection for central ministries and commissions. The focus of supervision is whether photovoltaic and wind farm have undergone detailed scientific demonstration in the process of demonstration and approval, which has gone beyond the traditional scope of environmental impact assessment. In fact, this will promote the transformation of the whole environmental law to some extent.

Second, we can also pay attention to another institutional approach, the natural resource inspection system. This is not the ecological and environmental protection inspection that everyone is familiar with. Maybe everyone usually pays little attention to it, including news reports, and social attention is very little. Whether this place needs to build a wind farm, how to build it reasonably, whether to leave a corridor, etc., whether these specific scientific measures can be improved in time through this natural resource inspection method can be discussed in depth.

As you all know, because the double-carbon target has been very hot in the past two years, every local government has been very active in advancing this matter. In September 2021, the National Development and Reform Commission had a plan to improve the dual control of energy consumption intensity and total amount. It is said that renewable energy consumption exceeding the planned part is not included in the assessment of total energy consumption and intensity targets for this year. Therefore, the system encourages all places to actively develop renewable energy, especially wind power and photovoltaics. The problem is in the process of advancement. We now find that it may have a corresponding contradiction and conflict with biodiversity, which requires reasonable coordination. solve. It is very timely and meaningful for CBCGDF to do this. On the one hand, we must accelerate the development of renewable energy and increase the supply of green power, which are all very good, but we must pay attention to another issue that is the impact of our renewable energy projects on the ecological environment and biodiversity.

Through ecological and environmental protection inspections, natural resources inspections, etc., it is possible to conduct a supervision and inspection of the scientificity and rationality of wind power and photovoltaics as soon as possible, and solve such a problem as soon as possible. Of course, from a long-term perspective, our corresponding environmental legislation, energy legislation, etc. must be revised accordingly, and the overall requirement for the balance of multiple interests must be reflected. Thank you everyone.

Original Chinese Article:



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