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Co-benefits of CO 2 -reducing policies in China - a matter of scale?


  • K. Aunan
  • H.E. Mestl
  • H.M. Seip
  • J. Fang
  • D.O'Connor
  • H. Vennemo
  • F. Zhai


Acknowledgement of potential co-benefits - i.e. positive side-effects - of greenhouse gas mitigation policies may be of importance to promote climate policies. This paper argues that the issues of local and regional air pollution and their short to medium-term effects on human health and environment as well as greenhouse gas mitigation policies are environmental policy areas which would benefit from an integrated approach. The paper shows that contemporary Chinese policies aiming at improving energy efficiency and local air quality may lead to large reductions of CO2. Conversely, an active Chinese climate policy would likely entail reductions in emissions of air pollutants and reduced damage to human health and environment as a co-benefit. The magnitude of these short to medium-term co-benefits is, however, not clear. In the paper, we present and compare estimates of co-benefits of CO2-reducing projects and policies from studies that we have carried out in China. The studies comprise a bottom-up study in the capital of Shanxi province (Taiyuan), a semi-bottom-up study in Shanxi province as a whole, and a top-down study using a computable general equilibrium model (CGE) for China. In comparing the various options for reducing CO2, we find that the estimated co-benefits per ton carbon reduced show greater variation between options the more detailed the study design is in terms of taking into account local features of emissions and exposure.

Suggested Citation

  • K. Aunan & H.E. Mestl & H.M. Seip & J. Fang & D.O'Connor & H. Vennemo & F. Zhai, 2003. "Co-benefits of CO 2 -reducing policies in China - a matter of scale?," International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(3), pages 287-304.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijgenv:v:3:y:2003:i:3:p:287-304

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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Pittel & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2005. "Internationale Klimaschutzverhandlungen und sekundäre Nutzen der Klimapolitik," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 369-383, August.
    2. J. West & Arlene Fiore & Larry Horowitz, 2012. "Scenarios of methane emission reductions to 2030: abatement costs and co-benefits to ozone air quality and human mortality," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 441-461, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Larson, Donald F. & Ambrosi, Philippe & Dinar, Ariel & Rahman, Shaikh Mahfuzur & Entler, Rebecca, 2008. "Carbon markets, institutions, policies, and research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4761, The World Bank.


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