As part of the EU Action plan for nature, people, and the economy, the European Commission issued on May 8 two documents on energy transmission infrastructure and hydropower that explain the steps needed to be included in the bloc’s legislation during the planning stages of energy projects.

According to the Commission, they aim is to improve the implementation of the EU biodiversity legislation while ensuring a safe, sustainable and affordable energy supply across Europe.

“Our objective is to ensure that EU nature laws deliver for nature, people, and the economy,” Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Commissioner Karmenu Vella said adding that the guidance documents issued on May 8 offers a practical recommendations to guarantee that renewable energy developments do not pose further threat to animals, habitats, and Natura 2000 sites.

“By allowing everybody involved in the preparation of renewable energy projects to consider environment early in the process, they will facilitate projects that work with nature, and not against it,” Vella said.

According to the Commission, the guidance documents are primarily designed for national authorities and stakeholders involved in the planning and approval of energy projects. They underline the need to take into consideration, at an early stage, the ecological requirements of protected species and habitats and to include, wherever possible, measures to improve their conservation.