Reverse Environmental Assessment Analysis for the Adaptation of Projects, Plans, and Programs to the Effects of Climate Change in the EU. Evaluation of the Proposal for an EIA Directive
It is clear that mitigation measures are not enough to tackle climate change effects and, therefore, some adaptation measures will be needed to improve resiliency. The new Reverse Environmental Impact Assessment (REIA) analysis, so named by Professor Michael B. Gerrard, evaluates the impacts that the “transformed environment” -- a result of the adverse effects of climate change -- may cause to a project, plan, or program, in order to allow those undertaking these activities to act proactively. There are many countries that have taken action accordingly. The EU has elaborated “Guidances” on integrating climate and biodiversity into either the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) processes. Regardless of its importance, and despite the inclusion of some references to the adaptation of the projects to climate change, the review of the Directive 2011/92/EU on the EIA does not make a clear commitment for the REIA tool, losing a great opportunity to introduce this new instrument into the legal systems of all EU Member States to really meet its goal of achieving a high level of environmental protection, adapting the EIA to new challenges, among others, climate change.
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