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Delayed and approved: a quantitative study of conflicts and the environmental impact assessments of energy projects in Chile 2012–2017

Huneeus, Sebastián, Toro, Sergio, Luna, Juan Pablo, Sazo, Diego, Cruz, Andrés, Alcatruz, Daniel, Castillo, Bryan, Bertranou, Camila and Cisterna, Javier (2021) Delayed and approved: a quantitative study of conflicts and the environmental impact assessments of energy projects in Chile 2012–2017. Sustainability, 13 (13). ISSN 2071-1050

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Identification Number: 10.3390/su13136986

Abstract

The Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental (Environmental Impact Assessment System—SEIA) evaluates all projects potentially harmful to human health and the environment in Chile. Since its establishment, many projects approved by the SEIA have been contested by organized communities, especially in the energy sector. The question guiding our research is whether socio-environmental conflicts affect the evaluation times and the approval rates of projects under assessment. Using a novel database comprising all energy projects assessed by the SEIA, we analyzed 380 energy projects that entered the SEIA review process between 2012 and 2017 and matched these projects with protest events. Using linear and logit regression, we find no association between the occurrence of protests aimed at specific projects and the probability of project approval. We do, however, find that projects associated with the occurrence of protest events experience significantly longer review times. To assess the robustness of this finding, we compare two run-of-river plants proposed in Mapuche territory in Chile’s La Araucanía region. We discuss the broader implications of these findings for sustainable environmental decision making.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 09:57
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 02:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/111024

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