The Structural Funds of the European Union
Edited by Massimo Florio
8. Environmental valuation: a brief overview of options Giles Atkinson and Susana Mourato INTRODUCTION: CONTEXT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL VALUATION To the extent that investments made under the EU Structural Funds are subject to cost–beneﬁt analysis (CBA) then there is a prima facie case for including the value of environmental impacts in these appraisals. The portfolio of such investments is potentially large (Evans, 1999). Some policies and projects may have the deliberate aim of improving the provision of environmental goods and services (for example environmental policies and environmental provisions as in say landscape provision and management under agricultural reforms). Other projects – such as the creation of much needed, but land-using, transport infrastructure – might have adverse impacts on the environment as an indirect consequence. In both instances, in principle, important information is brought to bear on the decision by taking explicit account of the value of the environmental impact or change. For example, in the case of the project with adverse environmental consequences, a CBA that takes into account the value of the environmental damage that arises is able to throw light on whether a given project investment still confers a social gain (or perhaps whether a slightly diﬀerent project option would yield an even greater net beneﬁt). In practice, there is a long-standing concern that most environmental goods and services have no obvious markets. This means that the value that the public places on these impacts cannot simply be observed with reference to market information such as (market)...
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