This study examines the first generation of state and local policies in the US that require consideration of climate change in environmental impact analysis (EIA). Based on a review of six policies, the study finds significant variation in approach relative to the nature of analyses (quantitative versus qualitative), consideration of various greenhouse gases, methods used to analyse impacts, applicability of policies and approaches to integrating climate change analyses into EIA documents. At the same time, the analysis highlights key challenges associated with addressing climate change in the existing EIA framework, including addressing cumulative effects and scientific uncertainty and evaluating the significance of project-scale climate change impacts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author wishes to thank the Institute of the Environment for funding this research through a Resident Fellowship for the author. In addition, thanks are offered to the project research assistant, Garrett Peterson, for assistance in gathering information about the policies examined in the study. Gratitude in also offered to members of an advisory committee of EIA practitioners in minnesota who provided insights related to the research.
- Climate change
- Environmental impact analysis (EIA)
- Greenhouse gases
- State environmental policy act (SEPA)