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Parliamentary questions
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4 December 2018
Question for written answer P-006118-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Rules on environmental impact assessments concerning CO2 emissions
 Answer in writing 

According to the European Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, all relevant environmental impacts of an activity, such as construction of new infrastructure, have to be taken into account in reporting and weighed up. This includes the impact of CO2 emissions.

In the Netherlands, the recent EIA for Lelystad Airport also included a calculation of the anticipated CO2 emissions. These were calculated for aircraft emissions up to an altitude of 900 metres/3 000 feet, as were emissions of particulates and NOx. This is logical for NOx, as emissions at higher altitude no longer have any relevant impact on human beings and the natural environment on the ground that can be attributed to the airport. However, in the case of CO2, the environmental impact to be taken into account is quite different. CO2 emissions above 900 metres are equally relevant to the climate. And the other high-altitude aircraft missions, such as those of water vapour and particulate matter (condensation nuclei for cloud formation), actually have a greater impact on climate than emissions at ground level.

Is it true that emissions of CO2 and particulates above 900 m, and water vapour in its entirety, are disregarded in the relevant EIA in line with EU legislation?

If so, what is the rationale for disregarding their impact?

Does the Commission also agree that the total impact is relevant, including therefore CO2 emissions at higher altitude or even outside the Netherlands which are facilitated by an airport?

Original language of question: NL 
Last updated: 6 December 2018Legal notice