Climate change in impact assessments: towards an integrated approach
The Paris Agreement sets clear climate goals and calls for making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions. Many national policies have responded by encouraging investments in ‘green’ sectors such as ‘transition minerals’, often reproducing extractive industry problems while also continuing to support investment in fossil fuels. Yet transitioning towards low-carbon economies requires a more systemic rethink of which investments to promote, aligning investment policies with climate goals.
Environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) can offer levers to implement this shift. But relative to current practice, fulfilling this potential requires a more integrated approach to assessing climate impacts in investment approval processes, and effective accountability, support and independent review systems.