- 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
Number of reports
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 positive impacts
air quality descriptor
compliance with climate change international commitments
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
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
8 6 4 2 0 2001
Figure 6 – Trend of climate change mention in wind farm project EIA reports since 2001
CLIMATE CHANGE INTERNATIONAL MILESTONES: AN OVERVIEW Kyoto Protocol
COP 17 Durban
COP 19 Warsaw
COP 21 Paris
COP 23 Bonn
Sustainable nergy for all SDG 7
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
CLIMATE CHANGE WITHIN EIA IN WIND ENERGY SECTOR Susana ROSA1, Catarina AZINHEIRA1, Inês SANTOS1, Ricardo TOMÉ2, Ana HORTA2, Luís SILVA2, Patrícia RODRIGUES1 1 BIOTA