Responsible Wind Power and Wildlife

  • Jim Murphy and Lauren Anderson
  • Jan 28, 2019

Climate change threatens America’s wildlife—from moose in northern states, to wolverines and pika in the mountains of the West, to trout in our cold water streams, and sea turtles nesting on our southern coasts. Land-based wind power is a key solution that promises renewable, almost pollution-free energy. It can power our homes and workplaces while creating jobs and income for workers, landowners, and rural communities rich in wind resources.

After a century of relying heavily on coal, which pollutes the environment throughout all stages of its life cycle, a shift is occurring to cleaner energy sources, with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power leading the charge. This rapid transformation is critical to achieving the carbon pollution reductions needed to protect wildlife and people from dangerous levels of warming. Paired with the emerging offshore wind industry, land-based wind is a key component of the fight against climate change.

However, the build out of wind power presents the potential for adverse impacts to some species of wildlife and habitat that must be accounted for along the way. Given the limited time frame to address climate change, the National Wildlife Federation is committed to addressing the wildlife risks from wind power development so the vital transformation to clean energy can be achieved in a manner that mitigates wildlife impacts. The National Wildlife Federation is working collaboratively with conservationists, industry, and state and federal wildlife agencies to ensure that a rapid transition to clean energy protects for wildlife along the way. Teaming up with National Audubon Society, the issue brief Responsible Wind Power and Wildlife details the benefits of wind to wildlife, its risks to wildlife, and how we can mitigate these risks.

Responsible Wind Power and Wildlife


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