Biodiversity is likely to be profoundly affected by the direct impacts of climate change (changing temperatures, rainfall and increased extreme events) and by the indirect impacts from ecosystem disruption and some human actions to mitigate climate impacts (such as some renewable energy technologies) and to adapt to them (eg hard flood defences, increasing water storage and abstraction). However, biodiversity is part of the solution to climate change because healthy, intact ecosystems trap and sequester carbon, retain water, prevent soil erosion and provide protection from extreme weather. IEEP’s work supports both biodiversity adaptation, and ecosystem-based mitigation and adaptation.

To help reduce climate impacts through mitigation and adaptation, IEEP has conducted studies of the potential impacts of all the major energy production technologies on biodiversity, assessed the potential for reducing impacts on biodiversity from wind power, and biomass and biofuel production (eg through improved policy measures, strategic planning, and the use of sustainability criteria). We have also contributed to studies that have assessed the potential for policy measures to contribute to biodiversity adaptation within Natura 2000 sites and in the wider environment.