New federal project plans must include climate impacts

Agencies must quantify the specific impacts when possible.

August 30, 2016 |

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The federal Council on Environmental Quality will ask agencies to include climate change when evaluating new projects.

Agencies must quantify the climate impacts of their decisions, when possible. The directive also asks decision-makers to consider alternative ways to approach or design a project that could better prepare the U.S. for a changing climate.

Some federal agencies had been considering the impact on climate change when making decisions. They tended to operate from earlier draft guidance, and did not always apply them uniformly, though.

New guidance suggests trying to calculate how many carbon dioxide emissions a new project, permit, or other agency action would cause. It also may involve calculating how much carbon may be sequestered as the result of a decision.

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