Using Sustainable Development Goals to develop EIA scoping practices: The case of Denmark

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Environmental assessments (EAs) are in research and policy expected to be a vehicle for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has been argued that the scoping of EA, both on project and strategic levels, can be broadened to encompass the 17 goals and thereby strengthen the commitment towards sustainable development. However, studies exploring the integration of EA practice and SDGs remain scarce. This article contributes to the understanding of how EA practice on the project level can utilize the SDGs to further develop its scope. The case study focuses on a high-income context, which has a significant influence on the results of the study. A review of recent Danish cases of environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports shows the potential for a broader scope than the biospheric and environmental parameters that dominate an EIA context. The results show that, within a Danish EIA context, the SDGs can help to qualify and strengthen the process of scoping for mandatory parameters in especially ‘population & human health’ and hereby contribute to a more comprehensive implementation of the parameter as required by the European EIA Directive.

Original languageEnglish
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)463-477
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • EIA
  • SDGs
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • environmental impact assessment
  • scoping


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