Addressing and communicating climate change and its uncertainties in project environmental impactn assessments

Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 03/2009; 11(01):29-50. DOI: 10.1142/S1464333209003245
Source: RePEc


While climate change has become an important concern at both regional and global levels, its inherent uncertainties have often been cited as the main reason for delaying many actions to mitigate its potential impacts. Reviews of environmental assessments (EAs) have shown that impacts from climate change have been inadequately addressed within them and that the corresponding uncertainties have been addressed even more poorly. This paper describes several basic approaches for addressing and analysing climate change within the EAs of individual projects with a focus on its uncertainties. Subsequently, the paper describes how the results from this analysis can be effectively and comprehensively communicated to the EA's disparate set of technical and non-technical decision-makers and stakeholders. Based upon this overall approach, the paper proposes a general set of guidelines that enables proponents to incorporate climate change and its uncertainties into project EAs.

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    ABSTRACT: Climate change has important implications for assessing impacts of many types of project. If climate change is to be included in environmental assessments, then proponents must be able to incorporate its impacts and inherent uncertainties effectively into their analysis; many proponents do not possess sufficient grounding in how to accomplish this task successfully. In this paper, three basic analytical approaches to uncertainty analysis — scenario analysis, sensitivity analysis, and probabilistic analysis — are presented that proponents could use for integrating climate change induced impacts and their uncertainties into their environmental assessments, together with a framework for judging the circumstances that determine which method would be applicable. The use of these three approaches is illustrated on the environmental impacts of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric project.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2007 · Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been a significant development in environmental management since the 1970s; however, climate change has only recently emerged as a topic of interest. This paper analyses the status of EIA of urban development projects in Korea one year after the implementation of the greenhouse gas emissions assessment regulation for EIA. It summarises the regulatory basis for EIA and the relevant guidance documents. Based on a review of EIA reports, types and boundaries, the expected challenges of incorporating climate change into EIA are identified. Also, this article recommends the next steps that may improve future EIA practice. (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of APAAS
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Procedia Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been formally applied in Germany since 1990, and has over time developed a methodological and technical routine in environmental planning practice. It can now be considered an established instrument; nonetheless, sub- stantial challenges to the further development of the EIA, and to even stronger implemen- tation of environmental requirements in planning and decision-making practice in Germany, still exist. This paper reports briefly on the application and the main achievements of the EIA in Germany, and, in the second section, primarily provides a perspective for addressing remaining and new challenges involving this instrument. The paper also includes specific proposals for the further optimization of the EIA at the EU level, as well as for Germany. The current status and future challenges facing the EIA, which are described herein, range from screening and scoping through public participation and monitoring to the area of application.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
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