Climate change uncertainty in strategic environmental assessment

Project Details


This project is concerned with two questions: How do Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) practice handle climate change uncertainties? And what are the mechanisms behind coping with uncertainty in decision-making? To answer the first question 153 Danish environmental reports are analysed, with a focus on the mandatory explicit consideration of uncertainties encountered in the assessment. The results are that SEA practice to a large extent do not make explicit communication on uncertainties. For the discussion on mechanisms behind the non-handling of climate change uncertainties, coping mechanisms were developed from decision-making literature. The decision-makers handling of uncertainties are distinguished into the following coping strategies: Denying uncertainty, ignoring uncertainty and finally postponing consideration of uncertainty. Further possible reasons behind avoiding uncertainty are discussed: Conflict avoidance, instiling trust and reliance on quantification.
Effective start/end date15/01/201201/11/2012