Climate policy in Western Europe and avoided costs of air pollution control
Abatement of CO2 emissions will be accompanied by reduced air pollutant emissions such as particulate matter (PM), SO2, and NOx. This, in turn, will reduce the need for end of pipe (EOP) pollution control technologies to meet future air quality targets. This dynamic could put more stringent air quality goals within reach, and increase the political feasibility of climate policy. This paper presents a CGE model that has been modified to include the emissions and EOP abatement of PM, SO2, and NOx from stationary sources in the EU-17. Emissions of pollutants are modeled as fixed-factor complementary inputs to their associated source. Abatement in each sector is modeled as a substitution between the pollutants and discrete abatement technologies, each of which is sector-specific and characterized by a marginal abatement cost and technical capacity constraint. Scenarios are run to 2020, to assess the costs and co-benefits of simultaneous air quality and climate policies. We find that under the Kyoto Protocol in 2010, the welfare cost of pollution control is reduced by 16% compared to the baseline, effectively offsetting the cost of CO2 abatement by 15%. The co-benefit results depend heavily on policy choices, and their magnitude relative to total costs is likely to decline as greenhouse targets become more ambitious. In our scenarios, pollution control cost savings range from 1.3 to 20% in 2020, yielding a climate cost offset range of 0.2 to 3.9%. The CO2 credit imports allowed by the EU via the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) offer a total savings of $9.7bn in 2020, but only need to be compensated by an additional $0.3-0.4bn in domestic pollution control from stationary sources.
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