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8 July 2020

Mott MacDonald supports new guidance from IEMA​

New guidance from IEMA, the worldwide alliance of environment and sustainability professionals, has been published to help support Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) professionals and address the Climate Change Resilience Gap. The updated guidance reflects legislative developments and lessons drawn from evolving and emerging EIA practice.

This guide provides a framework for the effective consideration of climate change resilience and adaptation through EIA in the context of town and country planning. The project was led by Mott MacDonald and the lead author was Maria Pooley, principal climate change and sustainability consultant at Mott MacDonald.

As a revision of the 2015 IEMA guidance on Climate Resilience and Adaptation in EIA, the new guide reflects and builds upon lessons learnt from emerging practice. It includes case studies of EIAs which have considered climate adaptation and resilience issues, reflecting legislative developments and evolving practice.

The guide is available on IEMA's website and has been developed by IEMA and EIA professionals in the IEMA Impact Assessment Network. The majority of contributing EIA professionals work for organisations registered to the IEMA EIA Quality Mark scheme.

Lead author and Mott MacDonald’s principal climate change and sustainability consultant, Maria Pooley, said: "As the UK experiences another heatwave, we are increasingly aware of climate change and the future challenges it will bring to our infrastructure and society. This guidance gives our industry the tools to assess climate change resilience and adaptation within the EIA process. It also emphasises the need to ensure climate resilience is built in to projects from an early stage, so that all new developments can be resilient to future climate impacts."

IEMA’s policy & engagement lead, Nick Blyth, said: “The Impacts of Climate Change are increasingly felt in our daily lives. However quickly we cut emissions, we face extreme weather and increasing climate impacts, this decade and beyond. As society now looks to #BuildBackBetter, this new guidance is especially timely, helping professionals to ensure resilient infrastructure and well adapted sustainable developments.”

IEMA’s impact assessment lead, Rufus Howard, added: “Adapting and being resilient to climate change is a crucial challenge facing humanity. At a national level, we need to ensure that new development proposals have been designed to be resilient and adaptable to the effects of climate change. This updated guidance aids practitioners in the consideration of climate change resilience and adaptation during the environmental impact assessment of all new developments.”

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