About the Cabinet Directive on Strategic Environmental and Economic Assessment

The Cabinet Directive on Strategic Environmental and Economic Assessment (SEEA) modernizes environmental and economic analysis in the development of policies, programs, and regulations intended for Cabinet or funding consideration. Specifically, this applies to Memoranda to Cabinet, Treasury Board submissions, funding proposals, and regulatory proposals from any federal department, agency or organization.

The directive outlines the objectives and expected results, application, roles and responsibilities, and analytical and reporting requirements of the new assessment process, which replaces the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, also known as the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The directive supports decision-making by highlighting the economic and environmental impacts of federal proposals in a clear, consistent, and comparable way. This will provide the timely and high-quality information necessary to support the federal government in achieving its goals in a variety of areas, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change, protecting biodiversity, and promoting economic growth.

Strategic Environmental and Economic Assessment Process

The application of the SEEA includes a standardized template, the Climate, Nature and Economy Lens (CNEL), for federal public servants to complete when conducting proposal assessments. The lens requires consideration of climate change (mitigation, adaptation, resilience), biodiversity, other environmental effects, and economic impacts when developing such proposals.

Federal public servants are encouraged to consult Environment and Climate Change Canada’s SEEA GCxchange site (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) for additional material that will support their SEEA implementation.

Public Statements

When a detailed assessment has been conducted and the proposal has been announced or implemented, departments and agencies are required to issue a public statement on the environmental and economic effects of the proposal. The public statement will provide assurance that environmental and economic effects have been considered during proposal development and decision-making and explain how environmental impacts will be mitigated or monitored. Public Statements will also highlight where the proposal may impact Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals and targets.

A list of public statements under the SEA by departments can be found here. A webpage for SEEA public statements is under construction.


For more information on the Cabinet Directive on Strategic Environmental and Economic Assessment, please contact the SEEA Secretariat eees-seea@ec.gc.ca.  

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