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Coverage of Environmental Impacts in EU Impact Assessments

Coverage of Environmental Impacts in EU Impact Assessments

The study analyses the coverage of environmental impacts in EU impact assessments and aims to identify potential lessons for Germany and the European Union. The main focus of the study is the analysis of the way how environmental effects – qualitatively, quantitatively and in monetary terms – are taken into account in the EU impact assessment process, especially in comparison to economic and social impacts. The study is based on an in-depth review of 12 EU impact assessments of recent regulations with relevant environmental effects. Additionally, a small literature review and four expert interviews were conducted.

Overall, the formalisation of impact assessments (IAs) has improved in the last 15 years the way that environmental impacts are taken into account in the policy making process. However, significant challenges remain in the practical application of the concept that could provide important lessons. An important finding is the fact that not all environmental impacts are adequately considered in the decision making process of choosing the best option and that quantification and monetisation of some environmental impacts (eg. biodiversity) could be improved by investing in models and data to support the authors of impact assessment.


Porsch, Lucas et. al. 2017: Coverage of environmental impacts in EU impact assessments. Dessau-Roßlau: Umweltbundesamt.

Daniel Sutter (INFRAS)
Deborah Britt (INFRAS)
Published In
TEXTE 96/2017
89 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

Zusammenfassung – Die wichtigsten Folgerungen
Executive Summary – The main findings
1 Introduction
2 Methodology of the study
2.1 IA report analysis
2.2 Literature review
2.3 Interviews
2.4 Analysis and recommendations
3 The EU impact assessment process
4 Results of the study
4.1 System boundaries and stakeholders
4.2 Coverage of environmental impacts
4.3 Quantification and Monetisation of environmental impacts
4.4 Relevance of the identified environmental impacts for decision making
5 Annex 1: Summaries of Impact assessments
5.1 Review of EU waste management targets
5.2 Circular Economy Package
5.3 Regulation on shipments of waste
5.4 Lightweight plastic carrier bags
5.5 Security of gas supply
5.6 Motor vehicles: new approval and market surveillance rules
5.7 Emissions from engines in non-road mobile machinery
5.8 Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure
5.9 Directive on indirect land-use change related to biofuels and bioliquids
5.10 Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases
5.11 Responsible sourcing of minerals from conflict-affected areas
5.12 Energy efficiency labelling
6 Annex 2: Overview of literature review
6.1 Reviewed Literature
6.2 Purpose of the publication and connection to impact assessments
6.3 Options
6.4 Environmental effects covered
6.5 Quantification of environmental effects
6.6 Monetisation of environmental effects
6.7 Methodologies applied (methodological toolbox)
6.8 Requirements of IA guidelines
6.9 Relevance of the results
6.10 Additional information

Environmental impact, legal impact assessment, fulfilment expense, monetarisation of environmental damage, Germany, Europe, analysis, literature review