International Association for Impact Assessment

IAIA Climate Change Position Statement Released

  • Blog post by IAIA Executive Director David Bancroft

    IAIA Climate Change Position Statement Released

    Dear IAIA Members and Friends,

    The IAIA Board of Directors did something in March 2020 that was historic for the organization:  it passed IAIA's very first Position Statement. That Statement was on climate change – and then COVID-19 hit, so we have waited until now to release.

    As the world begins to address global unemployment, economic uncertainty, and COVID-19 recovery, the climate change emergency remains, with profound implications for human health, socio-economic well-being, and environmental quality. Assisting decision makers in managing those implications is part of IAIA’s core mission to advance best practice and innovation in impact assessment. Here is the Statement in full.

    In the months since the Board approved the Statement, the Climate Change Section has been working diligently to develop the Action Plan mentioned toward its end. The Board approved that Action Plan at its recent meeting. While it is too lengthy to fully detail here, let me provide insight into some of its elements that are intended to increase application of impact assessment (IA).

    • Use our role as an Observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to support actions under the Paris Agreement and request the Conference of the Parties and UNFCCC to champion the precautionary use of IA processes as essential climate change adaptation/mitigation tools.
    • Gain Observer status to the Artic Council and offer access to IA experts, including their tools and methodologies, in areas of specific interest to the Arctic Council’s Working Groups (e.g., Indigenous Youth, Climate Change, Energy, Social, Health, Resilience, etc.).
    • Liaise directly with institutional investors, insurance industry, and risk analysts on the importance of IA, since these sectors have far reaching effects on the long-term sustainability of policies and programs as well as individual projects, including those affecting climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    • Build vital relationships with journalists in both social and traditional media to create better bridges of communication between IA practitioners and both policy makers and the general public.

    This is indeed an exciting time for IAIA. After decades of believing it could not express an official opinion on issues regarding public policy, IAIA is now poised to use its voice to assist its members, affected parties, decision makers, and the world. That is the definition of “for the betterment of society and the environment.”

    David Bancroft

    Executive Director

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