9 Conclusions and Recommendations
9.1.1 The proposals are likely to lead to significant GHG emissions reductions and the SEA supports the view that the underpinning objectives of these proposals will be met in this regard. The impacts on climate factors assessed in this SEA are all positive, and this is particularly true when considering the long term impact on demands on energy from traditional and finite fossil fuel.
9.1.2 Significant benefits in terms of air quality and population and human health were identified; in particular, through proposals which make a direct impact on the living standards of the population. The SEA notes the particular focus on those in fuel poverty and the likely positive impacts.
9.1.3 The SEA supports the potential secondary impacts associated with increased flexibility of supply through energy efficiency measures, and at a national level this will make a positive contribution to the Programme aims to target GHG emissions and fuel poverty.
9.1.4 The SEA identified that consideration will need to be given at a localised level to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to mitigate any potential negative impacts. Having identified impacts as mixed since they have the potential to be both positive and negative, mitigation is important to ensure appropriate impacts. The use of environmental management plans is identified as a solution to this.
9.1.5 The improved clarity provided by the implementation of the proposals, particularly in regard to the speed of implementation for improvements is recognised by the SEA, and whilst this may have a neutral effect, it does provide a clear statement of intent, which will support and underpin the primary effects.
9.1.6 The Programme as a whole recognises the importance of robust baseline and monitoring to ascertain the effectiveness of proposals, and this will be done through the monitoring and evaluation framework which is identified as a formal commitment in the Routemap. This assessment recognises that framework and the commitment to baseline data. As such it concludes this as the most appropriate way to monitor the environmental impacts of the proposals considered here.