Poster 04

CLIMATE CHANGE WITHIN EIA IN WIND ENERGY SECTOR Susana ROSA1, Catarina AZINHEIRA1, Inês SANTOS1, Ricardo TOMÉ2, Ana HORT...

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CLIMATE CHANGE WITHIN EIA IN WIND ENERGY SECTOR Susana ROSA1, Catarina AZINHEIRA1, Inês SANTOS1, Ricardo TOMÉ2, Ana HORTA2, Luís SILVA2, Patrícia RODRIGUES1 1 BIOTA

- Estudos e Divulgação em Ambiente, Lda. Headquarters : ABC-Apoio de Base à Criatividade, Convento de São Miguel das Gaeiras, 2510-718 Gaeiras, Portugal ([email protected]) 2 STRIX - Headquarters : Rua Roberto Ivens, 1314 1º, sala 15, 4450-51 Matosinhos, Portugal

FRAMEWORK Although climate change (CC) is assumed as a priority within environmental policy agendas, evidence shows that it is not being systematically integrated into EIA (European Commission, 2013). The Directive 2014/52/EU, which amends the previous EIA Directive 2011/92/UE on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, establishes that impacts of projects in climate must be assessed. The EU member states have to implement the Directive until may 2017 at the latest. This is thus an interesting timing to evaluate the integration of CC in EIA in EU and elsewhere. The energy sector is the major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. A rapid action to transform energy systems, scale-up investments in renewable energies, as discussed in COP21, offers new opportunities for the wind industry. Wind energy appears as a leading solution, consolidating its position as the most cost-effective climate change mitigation technology, avoiding in Europe in 2015, 218 m tones of CO2 (Source: Wind Europe). Accordingly with GWEC (Global Wind Energy Council) most ambitious scenario, with growth rates lower than 30%, global wind energy capacity could increase from 121 GW at the end of 2008 to over 1,000 GW by 2020 and 2,400 GW by 2030, resulting in annual CO2 savings more than 1.5 billion tons in 2020 and 3.2 billion tons in 2030 (Fig. 2). In 2015, about 50% of the energy consumed in Portugal was produced in wind farms. The wind energy production is estimated to keep growing in near future. As such, it is a good case study to evaluate how climate change is being addressed in EIA process.

Figure 3 – Global annual installed wind capacity

Figure 2 – Global power capacity and avoided CO2 emissions

Figure 1 - Wind farm

METHODS We analyzed a sample of 100 environmental impact assessments carried out since 2001 on wind farm projects in Portugal. Only conform EIA studies were considered. To assess the integration of climate change on EIA three indicators were analyzed: i) mention to climate change; ii) context of climate change mention and iIi) mention trend since 2001.

WIND FARM EIA STUDIES AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN PORTUGAL MENTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE

CONTEXT OF CLIMATE CHANGE MENTION

90 project impacts

80

yes

undefined

70

Number of reports

conclusions

no

60

Most EIA reports mention climate change (Fig. 4). These were more frequently referred concerning the project positive impacts, followed by the project justification and the compliance with climate change international commitments (Fig. 5).

project objectives

50

project positive impacts

40

project justification

30

air quality descriptor

20

project description

10

compliance with climate change international commitments

0 yes

no

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

Mentions to climate change Figure 4 – Mentions to climate change in wind farm project EIA reports

Figure 5 – Context of climate change mention in wind farm project EIA reports

TREND ON CLIMATE CHANGE MENTION 14

Number of reports

12

Between 2001 and 2007 there were a variable number of reports that did not mention climate change (Fig. 6). Since then, all the reports mentioned climate change. Below a timeline shows some of the climate change international milestones

no

10

yes

8 6 4 2 0 2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2015

2016

2017

Figure 6 – Trend of climate change mention in wind farm project EIA reports since 2001

CLIMATE CHANGE INTERNATIONAL MILESTONES: AN OVERVIEW Kyoto Protocol

COP5 Bonn

COP7 Marrakech

COP9 Milan

COP11 Montreal

COP13 Bali

COP15 Copenhagen

1997

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

COP 17 Durban

2011

COP 19 Warsaw

COP 21 Paris

COP 23 Bonn

2013

2015

2017

20%reduction GEE

(...)

2020

Sustainable nergy for all SDG 7

(...)

2030

This timeline does not pretend to be exhaustive, and thus presents only some of the milestones concerning climate change international commitments. Even considering the necessary time for the agreements to come into force, it took more than 10 years from the adoption of Kyoto protocol to find consistent mentions to climate change in Portugal wind farm EIA.

FUTURE TRENDS Climate change is in the present consistently mentioned in Portuguese wind farm EIA. Although these projects account for positive impacts within this descriptor, climate change is still addressed on a very superficial way, stressing out on the vast majority the compliance with international commitments and the positive impacts, but being largely absent on the conclusions. As reported elsewhere (Fisher et al. 2016), harmonized analysis protocols are needed to thoroughly incorporate climate change in EA processes.

References: European Union (2013). Guidance on Integrating Climate Change and Biodiversity into Environmental Impact Assessment. Fisher, W., Kolhoff, A., Quintero, A.M., Croal, P. & Lee, S (2016). IA and climate change followup and next steps:2016. IAIA