SAN DIEGO (Aug. 6, 2020): EDF Renewables North America (EDFR), National Audubon Society (Audubon), and Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders) today announced a Swainson’s Hawk Study and Conservation Action Agreement that exemplifies the shared goals and collaboration necessary to develop renewable energy to meet California’s 100% goal while conserving important wildlife and their habitat.
Eastern Kern County is home to important species and natural resources including the Swainson’s Hawk. Audubon has identified Swainson’s Hawk as a priority species for conservation in California, and in partnership with Defenders, has been pursuing efforts to conserve the species in the Antelope Valley and Kern County since 2012.
The Collaborative Agreement, funded by EDF Renewables, will have multiple benefits, including:
EDF Renewables is committed to providing solutions to meet California’s goal of 60% renewable energy generation by 2030 and 100% by 2045. EDFR has a long and positive history in Eastern Kern County where since 2004, EDFR has developed over 1.3 gigawatts of wind and solar projects. Its continued success is derived from developing renewable energy projects that are not only complementary to existing land use but also respect local natural resources through effective siting techniques and mitigation measures.
Pamela Flick, California Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife, said, “Defenders is pleased to join with EDFR and Audubon in this collaborative effort to protect Swainson’s Hawk while facilitating the development of clean renewable energy. Our world is facing the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change and any efforts to address both issues is a win for wildlife and people.”
Garry George, Director, Clean Energy Initiative, National Audubon Society, commented, “EDFR joins the list of responsible renewable energy developers who see the value of two outcomes of their projects – emissions reduction and conservation of species. Their contribution is not mitigation and is not required. EDFR is providing the funding because they care and are interested in conservation in the area they are developing.”
Devon Muto, Director of Solar Development, West Region at EDFR added, “We are pleased to be partnering with Audubon and Defenders to advance the science on this important species and establish a Conservation Fund that can support immediate and lasting conservation actions in this region that will have co-benefits beyond the Swainson’s Hawk.”