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Your Environment. Your Health.

Local air pollution and global climate change: a combined cost-benefit analysis

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Research article Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
Bollen J, Van Der Zwaan B, Brink C, and Eerens H
Resource and Energy Economics
This paper reports the first cost-benefit analysis that combines the damages resulting from global climate change and local air pollution. The authors found that the discounted benefits of local air pollution reductions significantly outweigh those of global climate change mitigation. However, the authors called for policies that simultaneously address reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as their combination creates an additional climate change bonus.
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Mortality (premature death)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Air pollutants (particulate matter (PM2.5/fine))

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Emissions from fossil fuel combustion (electricity/non-electricity sectors)
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • CO2 emissions

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured:

  • Costs for implementing CO2, PM, and greenhouse gas abatement/reduction options or policies (costs of energy services and consumer goods)
  • damages incurred by emissions
  • number of premature local air pollution-related deaths
  • years of life lost
  • costs related to premature death

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Costs incurred by the implementation of end-of-pipe measures or the switch from fossil fuels to the use of alternative, cleaner forms of energy

Benefits Measures:

  • Net global welfare benefits generated by integrated environmental policies (focused on reduction of air pollution and climate change damages)
  • avoided number of premature deaths
  • avoided damages from CC and LAP

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location: (Not available)

Models Used:

  • Modified/expanded version of the Model for Evaluating the Regional Global Effects (MERGE) model of greenhouse gas reduction policies

Methods Used:

  • The authors performed a combined cost-benefit analysis of global climate change (GCC) and local air pollution (LAP) to investigate the benefits of technologies and environmental policies that simultaneously address GCC and LAP. The authors — 1) used a modified and expanded version of the MERGE model to estimate the costs and benefits from both GCC and LAP policies in a dynamic and multi-regional context; 2) used the ‘Value of a Statistical Life’ (VSL) and ‘Value Of a Life Year lost’ (VOLY) methods to value mortality incurred from PM exposure (Holland et al. 2004); and 3) used data from World Bank (2007) to estimate particulate matter concentrations across different urban and rural populations.

Sources Used:

  • WHO (2002, 2004, 2006); The Regional Air Pollution Information and Simulation (RAINS) Model, Interim Report (Amann et al., 2004a); World Bank (2007); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Bollen J, Van Der Zwaan B, Brink C, and Eerens H. 2009. Local air pollution and global climate change: a combined cost-benefit analysis. Resource and Energy Economics.
  • Pubmed: (Not available)
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

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