Claimants challenge the environmental impact assessment of a proposed hydroelectric project, alleging, among other things, that the analysis failed to consider potential climate impacts. The environmental court of Valdivia rejected the climate claims, but annulled the environmental impact assessment on other grounds.
Corporación Privada para el Desarrollo de Aysén (Private Corporation for the Development of Aysén), la Corporación Pro Defensa de la Flora y Fauna (Corporation Pro Defense of Flora and Fauna), and the individual Hugo Díaz Manque brought this action to challenge the Environmental Assessment Service of Chile's approval of the proposed hydroelectric project Central Hidroélectrica Cuervo in the region of Aysén. The proposed project would have impacted wetlands and forests. The plaintiffs argued that the assessment failed to consider the potential climate impacts of disturbance to wetlands as areas of high biodiversity and to forests as crucial carbon sinks. The court annulled the Environmental Assessment Service's approval of the project on the ground that the proponent failed to provide sufficient compensation for disruption to wetlands and forests, and ordered that the assessment procedure be reopened. However, the court concluded that the environmental assessment need only analyze local impacts, and therefore, the exclusion of climate concerns was not impermissible.