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[en] Most Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) research has been preoccupied with SEA as a procedure and there are relatively few developments and tests of analytical methodologies. This paper applies and tests an analytical framework for an energy sector SEA. In a case study on a policy proposal for waste-to-energy taxation in Sweden, it studies changes in the energy system as a result of implementing the suggested tax by testing three analytical pathways: an LCA pathway, a site-dependent pathway, and a qualitative pathway. In addition, several valuation methods are applied. The assessment indicates that there are some overall environmental benefits to introducing a tax, but that benefits are modest compared to the potential. The methods are discussed in relation to characteristics for effective policy learning and knowledge uptake. The application shows that in many ways they complement each other rather than substitute for each other. The qualitative pathway is useful for raising awareness and getting a comprehensive view of environmental issues, but has limited potential for decision support. The precision increased as we went to LCA and to site-dependent analysis, and a hierarchy emerged in which the qualitative pathway filled rudimentary functions whereas the site-dependent analysis gave more advanced decision support. All methods had limited potential in supporting a choice between alternatives unless data was aggregated through a valuation exercise
[en] Two different methods for streamlined life cycle assessment (LCA) are described: the MECO-method and SLCA. Both methods are tested on an already made case-study on cars fuelled with petrol or ethanol, and electric cars with electricity produced from hydro power or coal. The report also contains some background information on LCA and streamlined LCA, and a deschption of the case study used. The evaluation of the MECO and SLCA-methods are based on a comparison of the results from the case study as well as practical aspects. One conclusion is that the SLCA-method has some limitations. Among the limitations are that the whole life-cycle is not covered, it requires quite a lot of information and there is room for arbitrariness. It is not very flexible instead it difficult to develop further. We are therefore not recommending the SLCA-method. The MECO-method does in comparison show several attractive features. It is also interesting to note that the MECO-method produces information that is complementary compared to a more traditional quantitative LCA. We suggest that the MECO method needs some further development and adjustment to Swedish conditions
[en] Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a procedural tool and within the framework of SEA, several different types of analytical tools can be used in the assessment. Several analytical tools are presented and their relation to SEA is discussed including methods for future studies, Life Cycle Assessment, Risk Assessment, Economic Valuation and Multi-Attribute Approaches. A framework for the integration of some analytical tools in the SEA process is suggested. It is noted that the available analytical tools primarily cover some types of environmental impacts related to emissions of pollutants. Tools covering impacts on ecosystems and landscapes are more limited. The relation between application and choice of analytical tools is discussed. It is suggested that SEAs used to support a choice between different alternatives require more quantitative methods, whereas SEAs used to identify critical aspects and suggest mitigation strategies can suffice with more qualitative methods. The possible and desired degree of site-specificity in the assessment can also influence the choice of methods. It is also suggested that values and world views can be of importance for judging whether different types of tools and results are meaningful and useful. Since values and world views differ between different stakeholders, consultation and understanding are important to ensure credibility and relevance
[en] This article describes an environmental assessment of Swedish agriculture, including upstream and downstream effects. The analysis is based on environmentally extended input-output analysis, but it is also supplemented with data from other sources. The analysis shows that direct effects by the Swedish agriculture are the most important, while indirect effects from other sources including mobile and impacts abroad are also considerable. The most important impacts from Swedish agriculture according to the analysis are eutrophication, global warming and resource use. The agricultural sector produces a large share of the Swedish emissions causing both global warming and eutrophication. In addition, current agricultural practice causes problems with loss of biodiversity. The most important actors in the sector are agriculture itself, but also all actors using fossil fuels: primarily the transport sector and the energy sector. In addition, consumers are important since they can influence the composition of agricultural production. The analysis shows the importance of including upstream and downstream effects when analysing the environmental impacts from a sector. (author)
[en] A framework for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is tested in a case study on a proposed waste incineration tax. Also included is testing of developed methods for valuation and site-dependent life cycle impact assessment. The results indicate that although a suggested waste incineration tax of 400 SEK/ton is likely to lead to environmental improvements, these are small compared to the potential improvements as shown in more visionary scenarios. In order to go in this direction a waste incineration tax based on the content of fossil carbon in the waste would be useful. The framework for SEA includes several different pathways. These have different advantages and disadvantages and provide different types of information. It is therefore suggested that they largely complement each other and that the choice of methods should be done in relation to the function of the SEA and the questions asked.
[en] This report gives a review of instruments that can be used for finding economic, structural and environmental effects of decisions in the environmental area, and describe what is possible to achieve, economically and technically. Twelve different aspects are used for characterizing the instruments. Applications and limitations of the instruments are discussed. For many instruments there exists a lively discussion on their weaknesses and limitations. We focus on system analytical instruments, i.e. environment-economic methods, energy and energy-economic modelling and environment-system-analytical tools In the economic area we discuss I/O-analyses, CGE-models and econometric models as well as a few descriptive analytica tools: Cost-benefit analysis, CBA and Life Cycle Analyses.
[en] At the core of EU and Swedish waste policy is the so-called waste hierarchy, according to which waste should first be prevented, but should otherwise be treated in the following order of prioritisation: reuse, recycling when environmentally motivated, energy recovery, and last landfilling. Some recent policy decisions in Sweden aim to influence waste management in the direction of the waste hierarchy. In 2001 a governmental commission assessed the economic and environmental impacts of introducing a weight-based tax on waste incineration, the purpose of which would be to encourage waste reduction and increase materials recycling and biological treatment. This paper presents the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the waste incineration tax proposal. It was done in the context of a larger research project concerning the development and testing of a framework for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The aim of this paper is to assess the life cycle environmental impacts of the waste incineration tax proposal, and to investigate whether there are any possibilities of more optimal design of such a tax. The proposed design of the waste incineration tax results in increased recycling, but only in small environmental improvements. A more elaborate tax design is suggested, in which the tax level would partly be related to the fossil carbon content of the waste
[en] The aim of this consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) is to compare district heating based on waste incineration with combustion of biomass or natural gas. The study comprises two options for energy recovery (combined heat and power (CHP) or heat only), two alternatives for external, marginal electricity generation (fossil lean or intense), and two alternatives for the alternative waste management (landfill disposal or material recovery). A secondary objective was to test a combination of dynamic energy system modelling and LCA by combining the concept of complex marginal electricity production in a static, environmental systems analysis. Furthermore, we wanted to increase the methodological knowledge about how waste can be environmentally compared to other fuels in district-heat production. The results indicate that combustion of biofuel in a CHP is environmentally favourable and robust with respect to the avoided type of electricity and waste management. Waste incineration is often (but not always) the preferable choice when incineration substitutes landfill disposal of waste. It is however, never the best choice (and often the worst) when incineration substitutes recycling. A natural gas fired CHP is an alternative of interest if marginal electricity has a high fossil content. However, if the marginal electricity is mainly based on non-fossil sources, natural gas is in general worse than biofuels
[en] Treatment of solid waste continues to be on the political agenda. Waste disposal issues are often viewed from an environmental perspective, but economic and social aspects also need to be considered when deciding on waste strategies and policy instruments. The aim of this paper is to suggest flexible and robust strategies for waste management in Sweden, and to discuss different policy instruments. Emphasis is on environmental aspects, but social and economic aspects are also considered. The results show that most waste treatment methods have a role to play in a robust and flexible integrated waste management system, and that the waste hierarchy is valid as a rule of thumb from an environmental perspective. A review of social aspects shows that there is a general willingness among people to source separate wastes. A package of policy instruments can include landfill tax, an incineration tax which is differentiated with respect to the content of fossil fuels and a weight based incineration tax, as well as support to the use of biogas and recycled materials
[en] Not all environmental problems get the same level of policy attention. An interesting question is thus why certain aspects receive attention and others do not. This paper studies the level of policy attention given to different environmental aspects in agriculture and energy policy in Sweden and explores empirically some factors that can explain the level of attention. The first step was to explore the link between environmental issue characteristics and the level of policy attention. The level of policy attention was measured through a content analysis of Swedish government bills. The results from the content analysis are clear and stable over the studied time period. In the agriculture sector biodiversity and toxicity are in focus whereas in the energy sector climate change and resources are given the attention. Besides these aspects, the attention is limited. These results were compared with the results from sector-wide environmental assessments of the same sectors. These assessments were based on hybrid input-output analysis and life cycle assessment methodologies. A main finding from the study is that issue importance is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for policy attention. Other explanations are needed to understand which environmental issues get attention in sectoral policy. Our assessment showed that while the level of knowledge does not provide an explanation, the presence of strong and well-organised stakeholders within the sector, with an interest in having a certain issue on the agenda, might be decisive for issue attention. Path dependency and limited attention capacity are other important factors