EIA Update | September 2012

18th September 2012

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IEMA's latest environmental impact assessment (EIA) update including news on delays to guidance from the European Commission on integrating climate change into EIA

Delay to EU EIA and SEA guides

The European Commission has delayed the launch of its guidance on integrating climate change and biodiversity into environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) until later this autumn. The launch has been revised to ensure it occurs after the commission’s proposals for the new EIA Directive are released (expected later this month or October).

IEMA is discussing with the commission how best to ensure that members have the opportunity to learn more about the guidance. One of the guide’s authors is speaking at this year’s EIA Quality Mark Forum on 17 October. A webinar setting out the main points of the guidance is also planned and will be delivered by commission officials.

HRA advice for Scotland

In August, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) updated its guidance on habitats regulations appraisal (HRA) of development plans. The Scottish government has also published two complementary advice sheets to align with SNH’s guidance. These cover the alignment of development plan procedures with HRA procedures, and screening general policies and applying simple mitigation measures.

Wales EIA consultation

The Welsh assembly is aiming to consult on updating its Town and Country Planning EIA Regulations after the summer recess. The revised Regulations take account of recent legislative and case law developments.

GLVIA3 progress

IEMA and the Landscape Institute (LI) have announced that the third edition of the Guidelines on landscape and visual impact assessment (GLVIA3) will be published in March 2013.

IEMA and LI are planning for GLVIA3’s launch to ensure both EIA and landscape professionals have opportunities to attend events setting out the key updates. Details of the launch and related events will be advertised to IEMA members in early 2013.


On 20 June, the Scottish government played host to a discussion on environmental assessment and energy consenting as part of the EU sustainable energy week events at Scotland House. A discussion paper and presentations from the event are available to view on the Scottish goverment website.

Forthcoming webinars

  • 27 September – Effective scoping practices in EIA
  • 25 October – Presenting and communicating EIA findings

Transform articles

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Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, despite the carbon intensity of production declining. That is according to a new report from the UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which forecasts that 80% of the increase will come from livestock.

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Half of consumers worldwide now consider the sustainability of food and drink itself, not just its packaging, when buying, a survey of 14,000 shoppers across 18 countries has discovered. This suggests that their understanding of sustainability is evolving to include wellbeing and nutrition, with sustainable packaging now considered standard.

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Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

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New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.

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IEMA has today urged the UK government to focus on developing green skills and expertise across business, industry and civil society following the publication of an alarming report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

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