EDITOR’S COMMENT: Puffins and other seabirds will be driven to extinction by Boris Johnson’s plan to power Britain with ‘limitless’ offshore wind energy by 2030, warns RSPB
The conservation charity has urged the Government to keep its objectives ‘in harmony with nature’, recommending to build solar and wind panels in areas with a lower level of biodiversity. It follows the Prime Minister earlier this month setting out a green energy plan, which will see thousands of coastal turbines built in the coming years.
Puffins are listed in the red category of conservation importance, meaning there has been at least a 50 per cent decline in their UK breeding population over the last 25 years. Seabirds can get caught in the sharp propellers of offshore wind farms, which are also frequently set up in shallow waters where the animals feed. A spokesperson for the charity told The Telegraph: ‘Without transforming how we plan development in our seas alongside the delivery of meaningful conservation measures, these combined threats risk irreversible seabird losses.’
‘We can’t solve one without damaging the other so we need to do these developments in harmony with nature, which is why we’re concerned about the scale of ambition. ‘Moving to cleaner energy should definitely be recommended, it’s just about the way that we get there.’
Mr Johnson has pledged to move at ‘gale force speed’ to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind technology and create up to 60,000 jobs. His announcement will see the Government invest £160million in upgrading ports and infrastructure in areas including Teesside and the Humber to help manufacture and install the next generation of offshore turbines.