Renewable energy can save the natural world – but if we’re not careful, it will also hurt it
September 2, 2020 Laura Sonter, Lecturer in Environmental Management, The University of Queensland, James Watson, Professor, The University of Queensland, Richard K Valenta, Director – WH Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre – The Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland
A vast transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is crucial to slowing climate change. But building solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy infrastructure requires mining for materials. If not done responsibly, this may damage species and ecosystems.
In our research, published today, we mapped the world’s potential mining areas and assessed how they overlap with biodiversity conservation sites.
We found renewable energy production will exacerbate the threat mining poses to biodiversity – the world’s variety of animals and plants. It’s fair to…
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