Your assistance is needed on an SEA project!
Your Assistance Needed on an SEA Project
Miles Scott-Brown of Ciera Group and Barry Dalal-Clayton of Environment and Development Services Ltd will be assisting IAIA in developing SEA guidance for the renewable sector, and they need your help. Specifically, they need your assistance:
(a) to identify actors and organizations across the (renewable) energy sector that make reference to SEA as a planning tool (e.g. on websites, case studies or in documents).
(b) to source existing SEA guidelines (e.g. national, organisational) -- we need URL addresses or electronic copies of SEA guideline documents.
(c) to identify IAIA members who have a strong interest in this project and are in a position to provide information and be kept regularly updated.
SEA Guidelines for Renewable Energy
Climate change is a major driver towards today’s energy transition away from fossil fuels. Recognizing the necessary shift required towards the use of more renewable energy, the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA)1 is launching a multi-phase project to:2
- Develop guidance (building on relevant existing initiatives) for the application of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) to policies, plans and programs for renewable energy development - focusing, for now, on the hydropower, solar, wind, and bioenergy sub-sectors.
- Establish a learning platform to share experiences with a broad group of stakeholders through the use of the guidelines and other platforms.
- Support application of the guidelines in selected countries to strengthen capacity and raise awareness (with training and coaching of stakeholders), to implement an outreach plan, and to gather experience - supporting up to 20 SEA case applications (five for each sub-sector) of the guidelines.
- Launch a help desk team of experienced experts in the field of SEA and energy planning facilitated by respective practice organizations’ in this field.
Why SEA guidelines are needed for renewable energy
Traditional environmental impact assessment (EIA) conducted at the individual project level has proven to be insufficient to deal with the bigger picture beyond project level impacts, to address cumulative impacts from multiple projects/developments, and to protect the public interest. A more strategic approach is required to support policy-making and long-term planning by public and private actors in the energy sector. SEA is now a well-established procedure that supports such planning by ensuring that relevant alternatives are assessed, that all environmental and social effects are evaluated and that all stakeholder interests are balanced. It has been adopted by about 100 countries - nearly all high-income countries and an increasing number of low- and middle-income countries. In nearly all countries without SEA legislation, the tool is voluntarily applied and supported by IFIs and/or bilateral donors. As the global renewable energy sector is expected to expand significantly in the coming years, there is an immediate and pressing need for guidance to deal with siting issues, the overall lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework and increasing public concerns about the over-saturation of renewable energy projects in the landscape. These concerns can only be addressed at a strategic level – not at the individual project level.
A partnership approach
IAIA aims to develop the guidelines in partnership with the renewable energy sector, international and UN organizations, international finance institutions, bilateral donors, civil society representatives and other organizations, to promote their uptake and international acknowledgement, and to build capacity throughout the renewable energy sector.
The project will involve the following phases:
- Phase A. Launch phase - development of draft table of contents for the guidance note and preparation of a project implementation strategy (February – May 2022).
- Phase B. Preparation of Draft Guidance (6 – 10 months).
- Phase C. Preparation of Final Guidance (6 - 20 months). This phase is not fully determined at this time and could range up to 20 months, depending on review and buy in of sectoral and other interests.
- Phase D. Operationalization, application of guidance and capacity development and outreach (5 years).
Progress report at IAIA22
A progress report will be presented at IAIA22 in Vancouver. Details will be announced by IAIA.
IAIA needs your support
We have three immediate tasks in this launch phase:
(a) To identify actors and organizations across the (renewable) energy sector that make reference to SEA as a planning tool (e.g., on websites, case studies or in documents).
(b) To identify and source existing SEA guidelines (e.g. national, organizational) – we need URL addresses or electronic copies of SEA guideline documents).
(c) To identify IAIA members who have a strong interest in this project and are in a position to provide information and be kept regularly updated.
If you can help with these tasks, please send information (as soon as possible) to both of us: Barry Dalal-Clayton
and Miles Scott-Brown
IAIA is the leading global network on best practice in the use of impact assessment for informed decision- making regarding policies, programs, plans and projects (www.iaia.org).
IAIA has contracted Barry Dalal-Clayton and Miles Scott-Brown to lead this initial launch phase.