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Assessing emissions levels and costs associated with climate and air pollution policies in South Africa


  • Henneman, Lucas R.F.
  • Rafaj, Peter
  • Annegarn, Harold J.
  • Klausbruckner, Carmen


Affordable energy supply and reductions in emissions of local air pollution and greenhouse gases are each important aspects of South Africa's goals. Many traditional solutions, however, work in contradiction to one another. This work investigates effects on estimated emissions and costs of mitigation strategies using the Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interaction Synergies (GAINS) model to identify policies that satisfy multiple goals. Eight scenarios that describe air pollution control options and mixes of energy production technologies are implemented in GAINS, which quantifies country-wide air pollution and greenhouse emissions and costs of controls. Emissions and costs trajectories are compared to the business as usual case, which projects CO2 emissions to increase by 60% by 2050 compared to 2015. Results show that replacing all coal generation with renewables reduces CO2 emissions in 2050 by 8% compared to 2015, and that aggressive policy targeting the whole energy sector reduces CO2 emissions in 2050 by 40%. GAINS is used to show co-benefits and tradeoffs of each scenario, such as reductions in emissions control costs that accompany a switch to renewables. The approach provides supporting evidence for policies that exploit co-benefits and avoid contradictions by assessing multiple aspects of the energy sector within the integrated framework provided by the GAINS modeling platform.

Suggested Citation

  • Henneman, Lucas R.F. & Rafaj, Peter & Annegarn, Harold J. & Klausbruckner, Carmen, 2016. "Assessing emissions levels and costs associated with climate and air pollution policies in South Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 160-170.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:89:y:2016:i:c:p:160-170
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.11.026

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ürge-Vorsatz, Diana & Tirado Herrero, Sergio, 2012. "Building synergies between climate change mitigation and energy poverty alleviation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 83-90.
    2. Peter Rafaj & Wolfgang Schöpp & Peter Russ & Chris Heyes & Markus Amann, 2013. "Co-benefits of post-2012 global climate mitigation policies," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 801-824, August.
    3. Seymore, R. & Inglesi-Lotz, R. & Blignaut, J., 2014. "A greenhouse gas emissions inventory for South Africa: A comparative analysis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 371-379.
    4. Madubansi, M. & Shackleton, C.M., 2006. "Changing energy profiles and consumption patterns following electrification in five rural villages, South Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 4081-4092, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Manzoor Ahmad & Shoukat Iqbal Khattak, 2020. "Is Aggregate Domestic Consumption Spending (ADCS) Per Capita Determining CO2 Emissions in South Africa? A New Perspective," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 75(3), pages 529-552, March.
    2. AhAtil, Ahmed & Bouheni, Faten Ben & Lahiani, Amine & Shahbaz, Muhammad, 2019. "Factors influencing CO2 Emission in China: A Nonlinear Autoregressive Distributed Lags Investigation," MPRA Paper 91190, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Jan 2019.
    3. 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.
    4. Sofia, Daniele & Gioiella, Filomena & Lotrecchiano, Nicoletta & Giuliano, Aristide, 2020. "Cost-benefit analysis to support decarbonization scenario for 2030: A case study in Italy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    5. Zhang, Shaohui & Worrell, Ernst & Crijns-Graus, Wina & Krol, Maarten & de Bruine, Marco & Geng, Guangpo & Wagner, Fabian & Cofala, Janusz, 2016. "Modeling energy efficiency to improve air quality and health effects of China’s cement industry," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 574-593.


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