Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment: Further Developments and Policy Use

Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment: Further Developments and Policy Use



Type(s) of Tool

GuidelinesOperationalize sustainability principles, less specific than Benchmarks or Rating Systems., Economic / Financial ValuationsAnalyses the economic/financial value and risks related to projects.


Urban Planning, Natural Infrastructure

Lifecycle Phase(s)

PrioritizationAuthorities decide which projects to realize and how to allocate resources., Project PlanningGeneral strategy for a project’s delivery is developed.

Open Source


Language Availability


Country of Origin


Date of Development



The book provides guidance on the recent developments in Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and the application of CBAs to policies or projects that either explicitly aim for environmental improvement or affect, in some way, the natural environment as an indirect consequence. It mainly emphasizes that social benefits must exceed social costs. Next to assessing more recent advances in CBA theory, it is a primary objective of the book to identify how specific developments illustrate key thematic narratives with implications for practical use of environmental CBA in policy formulation and appraisal of investment projects. 

Tool Outcome

The systematic process of calculating the benefits and costs of policy options and projects is regarded as an essential step in the policy process. It helps decision makers to have a clear picture of how society would fare under a range of policy options for achieving particular goals. This is particularly the case for the development of environmental policy, where cost-benefit analysis is central to the design and implementation of policies in many countries. 

Sustainability Criteria

Uses the state-of-art development in cost-benefit analysis, considering the contribution of climate economics, techniques to assess biodiversity and associated ecosystems, and continued refinement of health evaluation.