Ørsted, WWF Team Up on Climate and Ocean Biodiversity Goals

Ørsted and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Denmark, have teamed up with the goal to advance offshore wind deployment that enhances ocean biodiversity and to drive a global shift towards addressing climate and biodiversity goals together.

Under the five-year global partnership, the companies will jointly identify, develop, and advocate for offshore wind deployment initiatives and approaches that not only are in balance with nature but also enhance biodiversity.

To help make this happen, the partnership will innovate and test tangible initiatives that improve ocean biodiversity in general and which could be used as additional measures to achieve a net-positive impact on biodiversity.

In addition, the companies will develop science-based recommendations for how governments can incorporate ocean biodiversity requirements in offshore wind development.

The partners will also work to bring together those who use the ocean and those who seek to protect its health and deliver on a common vision for a decarbonised energy system that exists alongside marine nature protection and restoration, Ørsted said.

“Addressing climate change and biodiversity loss together allows for a much-needed shift in the way governments, NGOs, and businesses work to solve these interrelated crises. Solutions must complement one another, not come at the expense of each other”, said Mads Nipper, Group President and CEO of Ørsted.

Offshore Wind Deployment is Increasing, New Solutions Needed

Just in this decade, the global installed offshore wind capacity is expected to increase by a factor of seven, Ørsted said.

One of the issues is how to make space in the ocean for both increased nature and increased offshore wind energy. That’s why the partners will focus to drive forward the global international debate and the collaboration needed to bring about this global shift.

To kick off this work, the companies will invite leading experts to discuss the best way forward at a joint event at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also referred to as COP27.

One ambition for the partnership will be to have nature protection and restoration implemented in future offshore wind tenders by governments globally.

Marine Restoration and Best-Practice Models

The partnership will start with a joint marine ecosystem restoration project in the North Sea which will be monitored and documented to help refine the best approach to scaling up and delivering offshore wind with a net-positive contribution to marine biodiversity.

This project will focus on improving methods to repopulate highly depleted reef-building species at scale in the North Sea, specifically native oysters and horse mussels, according to Ørsted.

Ørsted aims to deliver renewable energy that has a net-positive biodiversity impact for all new energy projects commissioned by 2030.

In August, Ørsted became the first energy company to set 100 per cent renewable electricity requirement for suppliers.

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Also, this is not the first time that WWF and Ørsted have decided to work together. In June, the two companies joined forces to test how 3D-printed reefs can benefit biodiversity in Kattegat, a strait between Denmark and Sweden, which is experiencing a historically low cod stock, according to the Danish energy company.

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Photo: Ørsted/Illustration