Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issues this guidance to assist Federal agencies in their consideration of the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when evaluating proposed Federal actions in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the CEQ Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (CEQ Regulations). This guidance will facilitate compliance with existing NEPA requirements, thereby improving the efficiency and consistency of reviews of proposed Federal actions for agencies, decision makers, project proponents, and the public. The guidance provides Federal agencies a common approach for assessing their proposed actions, while recognizing each agency’s unique circumstances and authorities.
Climate change is a fundamental environmental issue, and its effects fall squarely within NEPA’s purview. Climate change is a particularly complex challenge given its global nature and the inherent interrelationships among its sources, causation, mechanisms of action, and impacts. Analyzing a proposed action’s GHG emissions and the effects of climate change relevant to a proposed action—particularly how climate change may change an action’s environmental effects—can provide useful information to decision makers and the public.