Environmental impact assessment models

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These models intend to measure and to evaluate the environmental impact of economic activities or policy measures. An established approach within these models is the so-called impact pathway analysis. This is a bottom-up approach for estimating external costs starting from a particular process and its emissions, and moving through their interactions with the environment to a physical measure of impact (the main component being health), and eventually a monetary valuation. In the Dose-Response step of analysis, data from the physical, biological sciences and epidemiology are used to link a particular pollutant at different levels (the dose) with different levels of physical damage to human health and ecosystems. The calculation process is highly site-sensitive, as the aggregate impact is determined by the geographical distribution of victims or receptor ecosystems.

The impact pathway analysis has allowed the Commission to review many of its decisions in the environmental sphere, in order to reach a better compromise between economic and environmental objectives. There have been many applications of the methodology where it has helped, through a quantification of the environmental and health damages, to make policy decisions that are better-informed and more consonant with the goals of Sustainable Development.[1]

Examples of EU funded environmental impact assessment models:


  1. 1.0 1.1 JRC: IA TOOLS. Supporting inpact assessment in the European Commission. [1]