• Ditte Schrøder Haagensen
  • Sanne Jespersen
This thesis is focusing on how climate change adaptation can be integrated in EIA in a Danish context. Even though climate change is happening, various studies show that climate change adaptation is rarely integrated in EIA. It is assumed that one of the reasons why this is the case, is that there are a lot of uncertainties related to how climate changes are going to affect a project and its surrounding environment in the future. Therefore these uncertainties need to be handled in order to integrate climate change adaptation in EIA. Based on this, the aim of the thesis is to construct a framework that EIA practitioners can use to integrate cli-mate change adaptation and handle the uncertainties related to this.

The framework consist of three stages: The first stage contains the parts of the EIA procedure where climate change adaptation is relevant to integrate. The second stage consists of ques-tions that should be included in the relevant parts of the EIA procedure, in order to integrate climate change adaptation. These questions are based on a synthesis of literature from organi-sations and countries that already have made guidelines and frameworks on how to integrate climate change adaptation in EIA. This literature has been adjusted in order to fit into the Danish EIA process. However, this literature is not dealing with how the uncertainties related to climate change should be handled, which is why the framework also includes a third stage: How to deal with uncertainties. This stage is primarily based on making scenarios that can show a scale of possible consequences of how climate change may affect the assessed project and its surrounding environment in the future. This scale of consequences should help EIA practitioners implement flexible mitigation measures, which can be adjusted according to how climate change is actually affecting the project and its surrounding environment in the future. In order for this to take place the scenarios and the flexible mitigation measures should be combined with a monitoring programme, which shows the effects and the eventual need for adjusting the mitigation measures.

As stated earlier, EIA practitioners should be able to use the framework. Therefore its practi-cal use has been evaluated in two ways: 1) A case study, where the framework has been ap-plied on an existing EIA, and 2) interviews with EIA practitioners from the consultancy busi-ness and municipalities in Denmark. The evaluations showed that the framework is applica-ble to integrate climate change adaptation in EIA and to handle the uncertainties related to this aspect. However, more guidance on how to use the framework is needed, and it should therefore be followed by a collection of examples of its use on various types of projects.

Furthermore it was recognized through the evaluations, that there are some institutional frames that can have a negative impact on how the framework is being used in practise. This means that there is a need for institutional changes in order for the framework to work in practice. To make these changes happen, it is suggested that 1) there should be some specific regulations regarding integration of climate adaptation in EIA and 2) the norms and cultures in the organisations which are involved in working with climate change adaptation in EIA should be affected through e.g. education and guidance. By following these recommenda-tions, it is assessed that institutional change will take place. This is expected to have a posi-tive impact on the use of the framework so that climate adaptation can be integrated in EIA.
Publication date2012
Number of pages82
ID: 63595381