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Parliamentary questions
PDF 7kWORD 18k
19 November 2018
E-005831-18
Question for written answer E-005831-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Martin Schirdewan (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Taking climate change into account in environmental impact assessments
 Answer in writing 

Projects that will likely have a significant impact on the environment may only be authorised after an environmental impact assessment has been carried out in accordance with Directive 85/337/EEC of the Council of 27 June 1985 (OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40) and amending Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 (OJ L 124, 25.4.2014, p. 1).

In Germany, there are disputes as to what extent environmental impact assessments should take into account the impact of projects on global climate change; see the decision of 22 June 2015 — 4 B 59.14(1), recitals 40 to 42, from the German Federal Administrative Court, after which only projects that already fall under the provisions of Directive 2014/52/EU would have to be assessed for their climate impact, but not projects still governed by Directive 85/337/EEC.

This also relates to other major transport projects, such as the Hamburg-Altona long-distance train station, the planning for which began in 2013 and the environmental impact assessment(2) for which only took into account the impact on the microclimate in an assessment area of 500 metres around the planned project.

However, the Commission already published a guideline in 2001 stating that an environmental impact assessment in accordance with Directive 85/337/EEC should assess not only the impact on local air quality, but also the impact on global air quality, including climate change(3).

Does the Commission maintain its stance from 2001? If so, what steps is it taking to compel German authorities and courts to apply Directive 85/337/EEC correctly for climate change issues?

(1)ECLI:DE:BVerwG:2015:220615B4B59.14.0.
(2)https://www.eba.bund.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/PF/Beschluesse/Hamburg/51_Bf_HH_Altona_km_00_10_900__1220.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2, see page 4.
(3)http://ec.europa.eu/environment/archives/eia/eia-guidelines/g-scoping-full-text.pdf, see page 34.

Original language of question: DE 
Last updated: 4 December 2018Legal notice