Policy making and uncertainty assessment
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Policy making and uncertainty assessment. Practical implications of the MNP-RIVM approach. Jan Wijmenga. 2002: MSc. in science & policy and international environmental law, Utrecht University 2002: Ministry of Agriculture, International affairs dept.

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Policy making and uncertainty assessment

Policy making and uncertainty assessment

Practical implications of the MNP-RIVM approach


Jan wijmenga

Jan Wijmenga

  • 2002: MSc. in science & policy and international environmental law, Utrecht University

  • 2002: Ministry of Agriculture, International affairs dept.

  • 2003-2006: policy advisor, Environment committee, European Parliament

  • 2006-current: senior policy advisor, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment

    • Revision of EU air quality directive

    • Revision of EU NEC directive

    • Effects of climate mitigation measures on air quality

INTARESE - Copenhagen


Ministry vs agency

Ministry vs Agency

  • The Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP) is a government agency, providing evaluations of and projections for the government’s policy

  • Although the government supplies most of its budget and requests the larger part of the published reports, MNP can also independently decide to publish reports on items it considers valuable

  • Certainly for projections, uncertainty assessment plays an important role

INTARESE - Copenhagen


Case attainment of air quality standards

Case: attainment of air quality standards

  • EU directives require attainment of limit values for particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and several other substances

  • Dutch courts refuse building permits if air quality at building site does not meet the limit values when they enter into force

INTARESE - Copenhagen


Uncertainty in pollutant concentrations

Uncertainty in pollutant concentrations

  • Uncertainty in the concentrations used in PM10 maps is substantial:

  • 15 to 30% for a specific

  • year and 20 to 40% for future assessments. The overall uncertainty along streets and

  • highways can total 45%.

INTARESE - Copenhagen


Case meeting nec ceilings

Case: meeting NEC-ceilings

  • NEC-directive (2001/81/EC) sets emissions ceilings for four polluting gases: NOx, SO2, NH3 and VOC, not to be exceeded after 2010.

INTARESE - Copenhagen


Uncertainty in achieving nec targets

Uncertainty in achieving NEC-targets

  • Although the emissions of the NEC gases are declining, according to MNP it is not certain that all ceilings will be met:

INTARESE - Copenhagen


Uncertainty policy making

Uncertainty & Policy making

  • The eternal dilemma:

  • Scientists want to have the

  • most accurate result

  • Politicians want the

  • best accepted result

  • Lawyers want the

  • mostconvincing result

The result of showing uncertainty in concentrations or emission data:

“...not very convincing...

...much too positive...

...action is needed!”

Comments by Ms Cramer, Minister for Environment

 Extra pressure from politicians and stakeholders on additional abatement measures.

INTARESE - Copenhagen


Concluding

Concluding

  • In order to have a clear sight on the attainment of environmental targets, knowledge of uncertainties is essential

  • However, too much uncertainties may lead to a pressure on additional measures, which can have adverse effects on business

INTARESE - Copenhagen


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