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Today, the Council of the European Union formally adopted the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED). This mandates EU member states to significantly speed up permitting procedures for renewable energy projects. 50 civil society organisations and networks join their voices in a Manifesto to propose a comprehensive way to achieve this acceleration in harmony with ecosystems and local communities.

Europe is at a crossroads: smart implementation of the revised RED can accelerate the development and integration of renewables while minimising environmental impacts and fostering social innovation. Conversely, poor or inconsistent implementation risks slowing down the development of renewables, weakening both environmental protection and climate action. 

Governments have until July 2024 to implement most of these new EU rules and create the infrastructure and renewables generation potential that Europe urgently needs. Getting this right is crucial.

In a joint manifesto, civil society organisations from across Europe unite behind 5 demands:

  1. An expansion of renewable energy based on sound environmental criteria.
  2. Increased transparency and public participation to help improve planning and project approval.
  3. Adequate staff capacity and appropriate digital tools to meet new accelerated permitting timelines.
  4. Support for energy communities, a driver of fairness and equity in the energy transition.
  5. Strategic policies and investments to ensure a resource-efficient energy transition.

Cosimo Tansini, Policy Officer for Renewable Energy at the EEB said:
“Too often, there is a misconception that renewable energy development must come at the expense of other environmental priorities or social rights. Far from it. The new EU rules have the potential to remove the real bottlenecks to our renewable energy transition: complex bureaucracy, poor planning, grid connection problems, exclusion of the public and local communities, to name a few. That is, if proper implementation by EU countries follows.”

“Fortunately, CSOs are offering a solution to national governments: With robust environmental mapping, strategic spatial planning, improved public participation and strengthened administrative capacity, EU countries can accelerate the development and integration of renewables in harmony with the needs of nature, people and the planet’s resources.”

Notes to the editor
Today’s Manifesto has been signed by 50 civil society organisations including European and international networks and national NGOs with diverse experience and focuses, ranging from environmental law to biodiversity protection, from public procurement to circular economy, from energy policy to electricity infrastructure modernisation.

Link to summary: Manifesto-Summary.pdf