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The Benefits of Reduced Air Pollutants in the U.S. from Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies

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  • Burtraw, Dallas

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Toman, Michael

Abstract

Policies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases can simultaneously alter emissions of conventional pollutants that have deleterious effects on human health and the environment. This paper first describes how these "ancillary" benefits—benefits in addition to reduced risks of climate change—can result from greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation efforts. It then discusses methodologies for assessing ancillary benefits and provides a critical review of estimates associated with reductions of criteria air pollutants. We find that these benefits in the U.S. may be significant, indicating a higher level of "no regrets" greenhouse gas abatement than might be expected based on simple economic calculations of abatement cost. However, the magnitude of ancillary benefits realized by any program of GHG mitigation is highly dependent on the location, pollutant, degree of exposure, and the economic behavior of individuals in response to the program. It is also highly dependent on the interaction of GHG abatement policies with the policies used for regulating conventional pollutants. We identify a rule of thumb to suggest ancillary benefits could be on the order of 30 percent of the incremental cost of GHG mitigation. For modest carbon reduction that do not result in changes in emissions of sulfur dioxide by electric utilities, ancillary benefits may be as high as $7 per ton. Greater benefits could be obtained with larger GHG reductions, although the costs of abatement would also be much greater.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-98-01-rev.

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Date of creation: 01 May 1997
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-98-01-rev

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  1. Palmer, Karen & Burtraw, Dallas, 1997. "Electricity restructuring and regional air pollution," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 139-174, March.
  2. M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Burtraw, Dallas & Krupnick, Alan & Austin, David & Farrell, Deirdre & Mansur, Erin, 1997. "The Costs and Benefits of Reducing Acid Rain," Discussion Papers dp-97-31-rev, Resources For the Future.
  4. Karen Palmer & Alan Krupnick & Hadi Dowlatabadi & Stuart Siegel, 1995. "Social Costing of Electricity in Maryland: Effects on Pollution, Investment, and Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-26.
  5. Burtraw, Dallas & Krupnick, Alan, 1996. "The Social Cost of Electricity: Do the Numbers Add Up?," Discussion Papers dp-96-30, Resources For the Future.
  6. Bohi, Douglas R. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1997. "SO2 allowance trading: How do expectations and experience measure up?," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 10(7), pages 67-75.
  7. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
  8. Portney, Paul R, 1990. "Economics and the Clean Air Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 173-81, Fall.
  9. Boyd Roy & Krutilla Kerry & Viscusi W. Kip, 1995. "Energy Taxation as a Policy Instrument to Reduce CO2 Emissions: A Net Benefit Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, July.
  10. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Alan Carlin & Mark K. Dreyfus, 1994. "Environmentally Responsible Energy Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 23-42.
  11. Ekins, Paul, 1996. "How large a carbon tax is justified by the secondary benefits of CO2 abatement?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 161-187, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Rive, Nathan, 2010. "Climate policy in Western Europe and avoided costs of air pollution control," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 103-115, January.
  2. Sébastien Dessus & David O'Connor, 2003. "Climate Policy without Tears CGE-Based Ancillary Benefits Estimates for Chile," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(3), pages 287-317, July.
  3. Anil Markandya & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2003. "Ancillary Benefits of Climate Policy," Working Papers 2003.105, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Pittel, Karen & Rübbelke, Dirk T.G., 2008. "Climate policy and ancillary benefits: A survey and integration into the modelling of international negotiations on climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 210-220, December.
  5. A. Myrick Freeman III & William D. Shipman, 2000. "The Valuation of Environmental Health Damages in Developing Countries: Some Observations," EEPSEA Special and Technical Paper sp200011t1, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Nov 2000.
  6. Hahn, Robert W., 1998. "The Economics and Politics of Climate Change," Working paper 60, Regulation2point0.
  7. Toman, Michael, 1998. "Research Frontiers in the Economics of Climate Change," Discussion Papers dp-98-32, Resources For the Future.
  8. Caspary, Georg, 2009. "Gauging the future competitiveness of renewable energy in Colombia," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 443-449, May.
  9. Kevin P. Gallagher & Robin Taylor, . "03-08 "International Trade and Air Pollution: The Economic Costs of Air Emissions from Waterborne Commerce Vessels in the United States"," GDAE Working Papers 03-08, GDAE, Tufts University.
  10. Rubbelke, Dirk T.G., 2006. "Climate policy in developing countries and conditional transfers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(13), pages 1600-1610, September.
  11. Baranzini, Andrea & Goldemberg, Jose & Speck, Stefan, 2000. "A future for carbon taxes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 395-412, March.
  12. Hahn, Robert W., 1998. "The Economics & Politics of Climate Change," Working paper 610, Regulation2point0.
  13. Pizer, William, 1997. "Prices vs. Quantities Revisited: The Case of Climate Change," Discussion Papers dp-98-02, Resources For the Future.

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