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An integrated assessment of climate change, air pollution, and energy security policy


  • Bollen, Johannes
  • Hers, Sebastiaan
  • van der Zwaan, Bob


This article presents an integrated assessment of climate change, air pollution, and energy security policy. Basis of our analysis is the MERGE model, designed to study the interaction between the global economy, energy use, and the impacts of climate change. For our purposes we expanded MERGE with expressions that quantify damages incurred to regional economies as a result of air pollution and lack of energy security. One of the main findings of our cost-benefit analysis is that energy security policy alone does not decrease the use of oil: global oil consumption is only delayed by several decades and oil reserves are still practically depleted before the end of the 21st century. If, on the other hand, energy security policy is integrated with optimal climate change and air pollution policy, the world's oil reserves will not be depleted, at least not before our modeling horizon well into the 22nd century: total cumulative demand for oil decreases by about 24%. More generally, we demonstrate that there are multiple other benefits of combining climate change, air pollution, and energy security policies and exploiting the possible synergies between them. These benefits can be large: for Europe the achievable CO2 emission abatement and oil consumption reduction levels are significantly deeper for integrated policy than when a strategy is adopted in which one of the three policies is omitted. Integrated optimal energy policy can reduce the number of premature deaths from air pollution by about 14,000 annually in Europe and over 3 million per year globally, by lowering the chronic exposure to ambient particulate matter. Only the optimal strategy combining the three types of energy policy can constrain the global average atmospheric temperature increase to a limit of 3 °C with respect to the pre-industrial level.

Suggested Citation

  • Bollen, Johannes & Hers, Sebastiaan & van der Zwaan, Bob, 2010. "An integrated assessment of climate change, air pollution, and energy security policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4021-4030, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:8:p:4021-4030

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bollen, Johannes & Brink, Corjan, 2014. "Air pollution policy in Europe: Quantifying the interaction with greenhouse gases and climate change policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 202-215.
    2. Ürge-Vorsatz, Diana & Kelemen, Agnes & Tirado-Herrero, Sergio & Thomas, Stefan & Thema, Johannes & Mzavanadze, Nora & Hauptstock, Dorothea & Suerkemper, Felix & Teubler, Jens & Gupta, Mukesh & Chatter, 2016. "Measuring multiple impacts of low-carbon energy options in a green economy context," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 1409-1426.
    3. Aleh Cherp & Jessica Jewell & Vadim Vinichenko & Nico Bauer & Enrica Cian, 2016. "Global energy security under different climate policies, GDP growth rates and fossil resource availabilities," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 83-94, May.
    4. Clarke, Leon & Krey, Volker & Weyant, John & Chaturvedi, Vaibhav, 2012. "Regional energy system variation in global models: Results from the Asian Modeling Exercise scenarios," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S3), pages 293-305.
    5. Gracceva, Francesco & Zeniewski, Peter, 2014. "A systemic approach to assessing energy security in a low-carbon EU energy system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 335-348.
    6. David McCollum & Volker Krey & Keywan Riahi & Peter Kolp & Arnulf Grubler & Marek Makowski & Nebojsa Nakicenovic, 2013. "Climate policies can help resolve energy security and air pollution challenges," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 479-494, July.
    7. Xavier Labandeira & Baltazar Manzano, 2012. "Some Economic Aspects of Energy Security," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 47-64.
    8. Haijun Zhao & Weichun Ma & Hongjia Dong & Ping Jiang, 2017. "Analysis of Co-Effects on Air Pollutants and CO 2 Emissions Generated by End-of-Pipe Measures of Pollution Control in China’s Coal-Fired Power Plants," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-19, March.
    9. Bollen, Johannes, 2015. "The value of air pollution co-benefits of climate policies: Analysis with a global sector-trade CGE model called WorldScan," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 90(PA), pages 178-191.
    10. Ottmar Edenhofer & Susanne Kadner & Christoph von Stechow & Gregor Schwerhoff & Gunnar Luderer, 2014. "Linking climate change mitigation research to sustainable development," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 30, pages 476-499 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Alshehri, Abdullah & Hussain, Ahmad & Mobarak, Youssef, 2014. "Energy-conversion measures in the industries of Saudi Arabia and development of methodology for certification of energy personnel in the Kingdom," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 203-208.
    12. Zhang, Shaohui & Worrell, Ernst & Crijns-Graus, Wina, 2015. "Synergy of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions of Chinese industries: A critical assessment of energy models," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(P2), pages 2436-2450.
    13. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2011. "Emerging symbiosis: Renewable energy and energy security," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4572-4578.
    14. repec:eee:rensus:v:75:y:2017:i:c:p:393-401 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. van Moerkerk, Mike & Crijns-Graus, Wina, 2016. "A comparison of oil supply risks in EU, US, Japan, China and India under different climate scenarios," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 148-158.
    16. Ekholm, Tommi & Karvosenoja, Niko & Tissari, Jarkko & Sokka, Laura & Kupiainen, Kaarle & Sippula, Olli & Savolahti, Mikko & Jokiniemi, Jorma & Savolainen, Ilkka, 2014. "A multi-criteria analysis of climate, health and acidification impacts due to greenhouse gases and air pollution—The case of household-level heating technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 499-509.
    17. Jewell, Jessica & Cherp, Aleh & Riahi, Keywan, 2014. "Energy security under de-carbonization scenarios: An assessment framework and evaluation under different technology and policy choices," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 743-760.
    18. Martín, Ramón & Gomes, Charmaine & Alleyne, Dillon & Phillips, Willard, 2013. "An assessment of the economic and social impacts of climate change on the energy sector in the Caribbean," Sede Subregional de la CEPAL para el Caribe (Estudios e Investigaciones) 38280, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    19. repec:ers:journl:v:xv:y:2012:i:sie:p:47-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:eee:energy:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:890-901 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Chaturvedi, Vaibhav & Kim, Sonny & Smith, Steven J. & Clarke, Leon & Yuyu, Zhou & Kyle, Page & Patel, Pralit, 2013. "Model evaluation and hindcasting: An experiment with an integrated assessment model," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 479-490.
    22. Månsson, André & Johansson, Bengt & Nilsson, Lars J., 2014. "Assessing energy security: An overview of commonly used methodologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-14.
    23. Janos Szlavik & Maria Csete, 2012. "Climate and Energy Policy in Hungary," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-24, February.
    24. Martins, Fernando Ramos & Pereira, Enio Bueno, 2011. "Enhancing information for solar and wind energy technology deployment in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4378-4390, July.
    25. Wittmann, Nadine, 2013. "OPEC: How to transition from black to green gold," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 959-965.

    More about this item


    Climate change Air pollution Energy security;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General


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