Publications of Cherp, A.
Defining energy security takes more than asking around
The recent contribution by Benjamin Sovacool proposes 20 dimensions and 320 indicators of energy security in Asia. However, the method for identifying these dimensions and indicators – 64 semi-structured interviews – has three shortcomings. First, Asian policy makers responsible for energy security are absent from the pool of respondents dominated by academics. Second, no prioritization or contextualization of energy security concerns is attempted, leading to an excessively long generic list. Third, no disagreements between the interviewed experts are accounted for. Future attempts to define energy security based on perceptions should involve relevant social actors, include mechanisms for discriminating between primary and secondary concerns and find ways to constructively report on disagreements.
The three perspectives on energy security: intellectual history, disciplinary roots and the potential for integration
Scholarly discourses on energy security have developed in response to initially separate policy agendas such as supply of fuels for armies and transportation, uninterrupted provision of electricity, and ensuring market and investment effectiveness. As a result three distinct perspectives on energy security have emerged: the [`]sovereignty' perspective with its roots in political science; the [`]robustness' perspective with its roots in natural science and engineering; and the [`]resilience' perspective with its roots in economics and complex systems analysis. At present, the energy security challenges are increasingly entangled so that they cannot be analyzed within the boundaries of any single perspective. To respond to these challenges, the energy security studies should not only achieve mastery of the disciplinary knowledge underlying all three perspectives but also weave the theories, methods and knowledge from these different mindsets together in a unified interdisciplinary effort. The key challenges for interdisciplinary energy security studies are drawing the credible boundaries of the field, formulating credible research questions and developing a methodological toolkit acceptable for all three perspectives.
From Tool Technique to Tool Practice. Experiences from the project SEAMLESS: Strategic Environmental Assessment and Management in Local Authorities in Sweden
The aim of SEAMLESS was to explore conceptual foundations as well as feasibility of establishing better operational and methodological linkages between tools for strategic environmental planning, assessment and management, especially between SEA (according to the EG directive 2001/42/EC and EMS based on the main principles of ISO 14001/EMAS) in local authorities. The concepts tool technique and tool practice were used for explaining and analyzing the preconditions, possibilities and difficulties in integrating SEA and EMS. Tool technique addresses technical aspects of the tools use and integration, neglecting the context in which it is to be used. It is important to understand the context, since it influences the feasibility of tool integration; therefore a tool practice perspective is needed. Tool integration is another important concept in the SEAMLESS project, where three different stages of integration were identified: formal integration, learning integration and interactive integration. A too strong focus on formal integration (which is closely connected to tool technique) might lead to that potential linkages are not realized. Too much focus on interactive integration might lead to complex resource demanding tool causing ineffectiveness and tool fatigue.
Energy Security and the Environment in Eastern Europe: The Case Study of Ukraine
for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, energy security has become a top priority because of their acute vulnerabilities. These states consume far more energy relative to the size of their economies than Western European countries because of the relatively large size of the industrial sector in their economies and energy inefficiencies in all sectors. Large quantities of natural gas and oil are imported from or through the Russian Federation to fuel this demand and to compensate for insufficient domestic energy supplies. These countries lack a diversity of energy suppliers and have been subject to gas supply interruptions and sharp price increases, allegedly to advance Russia's economic and political interests.In response to these risks, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine are attempting to enhance their energy security with a variety of policies and programs. It is critical for these countries to devise energy policies from a comprehensive perspective, including the likely environmental impacts of any proposed energy policy. With a broad policy perspective, governments can determine the best way to achieve their energy security goals without undermining other policy objectives. It is especially important that governments be cognizant that the negative environmental impacts of their energy policies may themselves create security challenges.Ukraine has recently responded to its energy insecurities with new policies, most notably its “Energy Strategy Until 2030”. Drafted and adopted in 2006 in the wake of gas supply interruptions and steep price hikes, the Strategy focuses on how Ukraine can meet a growing energy demand while reducing gas imports. The Strategy calls for a dramatic expansion of nuclear and coal power, but neglects to answer how these strategies are better than the alternatives. The environmental and social consequences of the Strategy have yet to be adequately analysed and the Strategy raises difficult questions for both Ukraine and its neighbours.
The Role of Environmental Management Systems in Enforcing Standards and Thresholds in the Context of EIA Follow-Up
he effectiveness of Environmental Assessment (EA) depends on its ability to effect change in the way human activities impact the environment. Unfortunately, environmental professionals are all too familiar with a gap between protecting the environment ‘on paper’ (e.g. in the EIS and related documents) and destroying it ‘on the ground’ where the activities undergoing EA are implemented. To bridge this gap, EIA follow up contains the management component defined as “making decisions and taking appropriate action in response to issues arising from monitoring and evaluation activities” (Morrison-Saunder et al. 2003). Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) and Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are the main management tools which can improve EIA effectiveness during followup. This section considers the rationale for and the experience of using EMPs and EMS in the context of EIA and SEA with particularly attention to the role of standards and thresholds.
SEA and strategy formation theories: From three Ps to five Ps
A transition to environmentally sustainable societies should involve a significant and comprehensive — strategic — change. Much of the promise of SEA is associated precisely with its perceived capacity to facilitate such a strategic transformation by influencing selected ‘strategic decisions’. This paper examines the potential effectiveness and limitations of such an approach in light of contemporary organizational strategy theories. Most of these theories separate ‘strategies’ from ‘decisions’ and also transcend the notion of strategies as formal plans, policies and programs (PPPs). Instead, they consider strategies as “five Ps”, adding “Position”, “Perspective”, “Pattern” and “Ploy” to the “Plan”. Lessons from organizational strategy formation give rise to the following challenges for SEA theory and practice:1.How to assess and influence informal as well as formal aspects of strategic initiatives?2.How to extend SEA ‘beyond decisions’ to address ‘emergent strategies’ where strategic action is not necessarily preceded by a decision?3.How to ensure that knowledge provided as a result of SEA is strategically relevant and communicated to key players in strategy formation?4.How to deal with an uncontrollable and unpredictable environment in which strategic initiatives unfold?5.How to recognize those situations when SEA can have most strategic influence?
SEA Protocol: Initial Capacity Development in Selected Countries of the former Soviet Union
This paper summarises the key lessons that emerged from the initial capacity development for the implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the UNECE Convention on EIA in a Transboundary Context — known as the “SEA Protocol” — in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.This capacity development initiative was implemented in 2003-2006 by the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) and through the related activities of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Part of the initiative has been implemented under the framework of Environment and Security Initiative supported, in this case, by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). It highlighted some quite fundamental challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for the establishment of effective national SEA systems in these former Soviet Union countries. The priority issues of concern are:• limited capacity of the responsible national environmental authorities to work on the SEA Protocol’s transposition and preparation of the methodological guidance;• limited experience with strategic environmental assessment that would provide examples of effective procedures and analytical approaches, which would meet the requirements of the SEA Protocol; and• limited openness of the planning system, which poses obstacles for carrying out assessment and consulting relevant authorities and the public during the elaboration of plans and programmes.
Excellent ingredients, but where are the cooks?
Reviews the book "Implementing Strategic Environmental Assessment," edited by Michael Schmidt, Elsa João and Eike Albrecht.
Risk assessment for improved treatment of health considerations in EIA
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Risk Assessment (RA) processes are rarely used to complement each other despite potential benefits of such integration. This paper proposes a model for procedural and methodological integration of EIA and RA based on reported best practice approaches. The proposed model stipulates ‘embedding’ RA into EIA and is organized in accordance with the generic stages of the EIA process. The model forms the basis for the proposed Evaluation Package which can be used as a benchmarking tool for evaluating the effectiveness of integration of RA within particular EIAs. The current paper uses the package for evaluating seven Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) of waste incineration facilities in the UK produced between 1990 and 2000. Though RA was found to be an element of these EIAs, its prominence varied considerably from case to case. Systematic application of RA in accordance with the best practice was not observed. Particular omissions were demonstrated in assessing health impacts not directly associated with air emissions, identifying the receptors of health impacts (affected population), interpreting health impacts as health risks, dealing with uncertainties, and risk communications.
The long-term management of nuclear emergencies: The principles
The long-term impact of the Chernobyl accident on the most affected populations in Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation is still evident in terms of a continuing elevated level of thyroid cancer, prominent psychosocial effects, a depressed economy and a low level of well being. Some of these impacts are directly and primarily attributable to exposure to ionising radiation, while others have more complex origins and have evolved over the period since the accident. It is argued that although these latter impacts were largely unpredictable at the time of the accident, they could have been minimised had an appropriate management plan been in force. The principles underlying such a management plan for use in future accidents are enumerated. An essential component in further developing such a plan would be a thorough review of the experience of the Chernobyl accident in order to 'learn the lessons' that accident holds.
A methodology for assessing national sustainable development strategies
At the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 governments undertook to develop and adopt national sustainable development strategies as a key component of implementing the goals of Agenda 21. Only partial progress was reported at the 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg, with uncertainty as to the effectiveness of those strategies that had been introduced. This paper describes a methodology for assessing a country's progress in implementing a national sustainable development strategy (NSDS) and for identifying potential areas for improvement. Five key principles of sustainable development and strategic planning are identified, and a set of assessment criteria are proposed for testing their implementation. The results of applying the methodology in two Eastern European countries, Belarus and Slovakia, are reported. These case studies suggest that the proposed NSDS assessment methodology has considerable potential for strengthening sustainability planning at the national level. The effectiveness of the NSDS assessment methodology in strengthening national processes for sustainable development and strategic planning will also require greater transparency and accountability in governance practices. This suggests that progress in improving the quality of NSDS processes is likely to be conditional on broader considerations of institution building and governance reform.
Environmental assessment in the Russian Federation: evolution through capacity building
The Russian Federation environmental assessment (EA) system comprises state environmental review (SER) undertaken by state authorities and assessment of environmental impacts (OVOS)undertaken by the developers. Despite significantprogress in the 1990s, integration between SER and OVOS, screening and scoping provisions and alignment with international approaches were often seen as problematic. These issues were addressed in the EIA Regulations issued in2000. However, the system immediately came under a major threat resulting from the closure of the Ministry of Environment. Supported by capacity-building efforts and strong networking,the Russian EA community has deflected this threat and enrolled various stakeholders into supporting EA, which now encompasses SER and OVOS components. Activities at regional level were a key element in these efforts.
Economic transition and environmental sustainability : effects of economic restructuring on air pollution in the Russian Federation
Economic liberalization in former socialist countries may have various implications for their environmental sustainability. Positive effects of this process are potentially associated with improved efficiency, investments into cleaner technologies, responsiveness to environmentally aware markets, and ending subsidies to heavy industries. On the other hand, market liberalization may result in weaker environmental controls, economic instabilities distracting attention from environmental issues, and increasing orientation towards profit-making leading to more intensive exploitation of natural resources. In addition, trade liberalization may result in shifts towards more pollution and resource-intensive industries.This article seeks to quantify effects of economic restructuring in Russia on air pollution from productive economic sectors in the 1990s. Air pollution in Russia had significantly declined in 1991-1999, however, this decline was largely due to economic decline, as the overall pollution intensity of the economy had decreased only slightly. The factors that affected the pollution intensity are: (1) a decrease in the combined share of industrial and transport activities in the economy and (2) changing pollution intensities of the industrial and transport sectors.The pollution intensity of the Russian industry had remained relatively stable during the 1990s. This was the result of the two opposite and mutually canceling trends: (a) increasing shares of pollution-intensive branches such as metal smelting and oil production vs. less pollution intensive manufacturing and (b) decline in pollution intensities within the industrial branches. The article proposes a methodology by which the contribution of both factors to the overall pollution intensity of the industrial sector can be quantified.The pollution intensity of the Russian transport sector appears to have declined in the first half of the 1990s and increased in the second half. The most recent trend can be explained by a rising proportion of private motorcars used for transportation of people and goods instead of traditional rail and other public transport.The findings of the paper demonstrate that shifts towards more pollution-, resource- and energy-intensive industries as a result of economic liberalization emerges as a significant negative factor of the process of economic transition threatening sustainability of emerging market economies. A research agenda to further investigate these impacts is proposed.
Evolution and current state of environmental assessment in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan inherited the Soviet State Environmental Review procedure, which was overly technocratic and lacked essential elements of effective EIA. A parallel system more closely conforming to the ‘classic’ EIA was created in 1996 and has been applied to dozens of major developments, particularly in the oil sector. This ‘dual-track’ system has helped to bridge the gap between external pressures for establishing modern EIA and the lack of internal capacity to do so in face of political and economic challenges. The drawback has been the system’s non-mandatory character and associated potential irregularities in the application of EIA and utilisation of its findings. The success of the ‘Azerbaijan model’ will depend on whether the parallel EIA system is capable of continuous improvement,integration with existing formal procedures and institutions and of transforming into a mandatory environmental policy tool.
EA legislation and practice in Central and Eastern Europe and the former USSR: A comparative analysis
The paper describes the main directions and the outcomes of the reform of EA legislation in practice in 27 former socialist countries in the 1990s. During this period, more than 100 legal acts in the field of EA have been introduced and EA has become one of the most widely used environmetal policy tools. The process of political and economic transition has significantly influenced the evolution of and the regional variations in EA systems especially in relation to the area of application of EA procedures, the roles of key actors, the scope of EA studies and the links of EA to decision-making. An effective EA reform should be sensitive to specific needs of the transitional societies and sensitive to their unique societal context.
Environmental assessment in countries in transition: Evolution in a changing context
Over the last fifteen years, Environmental Assessment systems of transitional societies of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia have undergone dramatic change from appraisals integrated into centrally planned economies to formal procedures aimed to ensure interdisciplinary analysis of environmental impacts and linked to publicly accountable decision-making. In most Central European nations, EA systems have been radically reformed to approximate the procedures used in developed countries, particularly in the European Union. In contrast, EA in most of the former Soviet republics has been reformed more gradually and is still based on the so-called State Environmental Review procedure inherited from the USSR and substantially different from 'Western' EA. About one-third of the transitional countries tin the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia) have, so far, failed to establish functioning EA systems. Throughout the region, there has been a gap between EA legislation and practice, especially concerning interdisciplinary analysis of environmental impacts, public participation, and utilisation of EA findings in decision-making. A key driving force in the reform of EA systems has been the change in their societal context, the so-called 'process of transition '. Three main policy agendas – environmental protection, reforms of decision-making, and conforming to international requirements – along with the institutional context of EA regulations and practice have influenced both the change of EA systems over time and the regional variations in the patterns of their evolution. This study suggests that an effective reform of an EA system should be context-sensitive, or be 'in gear' with the political and economic transition. Future EA research should consider their changing societal contexts and focused on practical effects of applying EA procedures. (C) 2001 Academic Press.
Quality Review Package for Strategic Environmental Assessments of Land-Use Plans
Increasing application of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of land-use plans has been accompanied by concerns about their quality. This paper suggests a tool for the systematic evaluation of the quality of SEA reports, based on criteria derived from formal SEA provisions, including the draft European Union SEA Directive, general objectives and principles of SEA and reports of good SEA practice. These criteria are reflected in 70 `review topics' organised in a `package', similar in its structure to the Lee-Colley EIS (environmental impact statement) Quality Review Package. The paper discusses the results of the pilot application of the review package in the UK and Sweden and concludes that it sets a sufficiently high yet practically achievable standard for SEA reports. The suggested review package can be used not only as a tool for quality control but also as a check-list in preparing SEA reports and for drafting SEA guidance.
Municipal Solid Waste Management: an Integrated Approach
Речь в брошюре пойдет о твердых бытовых отходах (ТБО) или «твердых муниципальных отходах» (Municipal Solid Waste), как их принято называть на Западе. Мы не ставили перед собой задачу дать исчерпывающий обзор существующих технологий утилизации ТБО, а старались показать, как сочетание этих технологий с экономическими и социальными мерами может способствовать решению проблемы отходов.Мы надеемся, что брошюра окажется полезной, в первую очередь, общественным организациям и городским властям, заинтересованным в выработке экологически и социально приемлемых подходов к проблеме ТБО. Брошюра также может представлять интерес для студентов и журналистов.