© CLEANaction
The Coalition Linking Energy And Nature for action (CLEANaction) is a partnership to protect nature during the energy transition

Our world is in the midst of a climate crisis and the need to urgently shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is clear. While cleaner power is crucial to reduce emissions and protect people and nature from the worst impacts of climate change, the likely impact of this energy production on biodiversity must also be considered.

Any power generation, even using renewables, brings disruption to the natural environment on which we all depend. Biodiversity has already declined 69% since 1970 and some US$44 trillion - half the world’s GDP - is reliant on nature, which makes it more important than ever to protect and restore it.

CLEANaction aims to highlight the need for new renewable energy generation projects to be carefully assessed for their impacts on biodiversity, allowing the options that are the least damaging to nature to be prioritised.

Today, many renewable energy developers have little awareness or consideration for the impact on nature, be it on land, the ocean, or freshwater ecosystems. CLEANaction hopes to change this, so that the effect on biodiversity is a required element of any new proposed energy initiative.

Report launch event

Linking energy and nature to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises

CLEANaction held a launch event for their new report which aims to ensure that the link between energy and nature is top of mind among policy makers and industry leaders.

Watch the recording. 

Speakers included:

Keynote address: Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy
Keynote address: Teresa Ribera, Third Deputy Prime Minister of Spain and Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge
Report overview: Leon Bennun, The Biodiversity Consultancy Chief Scientist
Panel discussion:
  • Amy Finlayson, Ørsted Head of Global Oceans and Biodiversity Engagement
  • Eugene Nforngwa, PACJA Just Transition and Energy Access Lead
  • Duncan Lang, Asian Development Bank Senior Environment Specialist, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department
  • Dr Steven Degraer, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences Senior Environmental Scientist
  • Gonzalo Saenz de Miera, Iberdrola Climate Change and Alliances Director
  • Moderator: Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Climate and Energy Global Lead

Nature-safe Energy Report
The rapid transition to renewable energy offers opportunities to reset the broken relationship between energy production and nature.

In its first major report, CLEANaction confirms that even when the full range of environmental impacts - from sourcing raw materials to final operation - is considered, generating and storing energy from renewables is far less environmentally damaging than using fossil fuels. 

Download the report (PDF)


“Distributed renewable electricity is imperative to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals: it provides communities with sustainability electricity services to power livelihoods, doing so in a way that catalyses socio-economic development and local green job creation, that is future-proof and that is effectively addressing climate change. Renewable electricity is by definition a natural solution, harnessing the power of the wind, the sun, water and the earth to deliver electricity. It beautifully leverages the forces of nature to power sustainable development around the world.” - David Lecoque, CEO, Alliance for Rural Electrification.

“Whilst a rapid shift to renewable energy is vital, it must not be achieved at the expense of nature. BirdLife is a world expert on reconciling nature conservation and energy development. Through the CLEANaction initiative we look forward to working closely with the energy sector to promote the knowledge, tools, and best practices needed to ensure a “truly green” nature-sensitive energy revolution.” - BirdLife CEO, Patricia Zurita.

“I am delighted to be part this extremely relevant alliance to assure that the renewable energy model is in harmony with nature and people. We have to do this transition urgently and at scale. It is the only option to avoid the worst scenarios and address the climate, biodiversity and energy crisis. In this effort, we all have to work together: companies, we have to do it better to minimize the impact of infrastructures. But we need the help of civil society, the administration, researchers, etc. to accelerate joint action in climate, energy and nature and increase awareness. By bringing together all stakeholders involved, CLEANaction is very well positioned to have meaningful impact in this field.” - Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera, Climate Change and Alliances Global Director, Iberdrola.  

“A just energy transition quintessentially has to be one that is also nature positive, addressing the needs of people and planet. Many cities from all over the world are already leading the way in such transitions, by utilising nature-based solutions to achieve climate neutrality.” - Kobie Brand, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Regional Director, ICLEI Africa.

“Nature is our most abundant source of energy. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2050, around two thirds of our energy will come from technologies that harness the renewable power of the sun, the wind, the earth, and the water. The pursuit of a net zero global economy is fundamentally the quest for a future that harmonizes the needs of people and planet.” - Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.

“Life on earth will be shaped by how we repower and re-green the planet over the next two decades. With 80 percent of global energy consumption based on fossil fuels, repowering the planet by rapidly developing clean energy systems is obviously essential to meeting climate goals. But as we transition to renewable energy, we must advance smarter approaches for development and the environment, so that meeting climate goals does not come at the expense of human development or healthy lands and waters.” - Dr. Joseph Kiesecker, Lead Scientist, The Nature Conservancy.

“Climate change and biodiversity loss are the two great challenges of our time. How we address them today is crucial for future life. Let’s be clear: Relegating fossil fuels to history unites efforts on each and is a critical first step. The world depends on rapid transition to clean energy to meet climate goals. At Ørsted, we’ve set a bold 2030 ambition to unite action on climate and nature and we’re taking action to deploy renewables in a way that contributes to biodiversity goals. We’re doing our part, but we need concerted action from governments, industry and the conservation community to move at pace and scale.” - Mads Nipper, CEO, Ørsted.

“The climate and biodiversity crises are deeply interconnected, and we have to respond to them simultaneously. We must accelerate the transition to renewable energy, while also protecting and restoring the ecosystems and wildlife upon which the health of our planet depends.” - Andrew Watts, VP, Partnerships and Innovation at Spoor.

“Our climate and nature crises are inextricably linked. Climate change is a key driver of biodiversity loss, while action to halt and reverse the loss of nature is essential to limiting global warming to 1.5°C and avoiding even worse impacts on people and wildlife. Initiatives such as CLEANaction are key to ensure that the much-needed shift away from fossil fuels does not cause further, inadvertent harm to natural ecosystems, freshwater systems and our oceans.” - Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Global Leader for Climate and Energy, WWF.

Contact CLEANaction

Email: CLEANaction@wwfint.org.