In this paper we review the current impacts of different energy producers (and energy conservation) on biodiversity and investigate the potential for achieving positive biodiversity effects along with mitigation and adaptation objectives. Very few energy producers achieve all three aims – although it may be possible with careful choice of location and management. In some instances, energy conservation can provide mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity benefits. There is still a gap in knowledge regarding the effects of newer energy technologies on biodiversity. There is an additional concern that many supposedly 'green' renewable energy projects may actually harm biodiversity to such a degree that their overall human benefits are negated. The increasing understanding that ecosystem services are vital for human well-being though means that attempting positive mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity conservation in the energy sector should be an imperative goal for international policy. Whilst research into synergies between mitigation and adaptation is established, there has been very little that has examined the impacts on biodiversity as well. Further work is required to identify and provide evidence of the best ways of optimising mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity in the energy sector.
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