Climate policies can help resolve energy security and air pollution challenges

McCollum, D., Krey, V. ORCID:, Riahi, K. ORCID:, Kolp, P., & Makowski, M. ORCID: (2012). Climate policies can help resolve energy security and air pollution challenges. In: Worlds Within Reach: From Science To Policy - IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference, 24-26 October 2012, Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna and IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria.

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This research assesses three key energy sustainability objectives: energy security improvement, climate change mitigation, and the reduction of air pollution and its human health impacts. We illustrate how the common practice of narrowly focusing on singular issues ignores potentially enormous synergies, highlighting the need for a paradigm shift toward more holistic policy approaches. Our analysis of a large ensemble of alternate energy-climate futures, developed using MESSAGE, an integrated assessment model, shows that climate change policy offers a strategic entry point along the path to energy sustainability in several dimensions. Decarbonization will lead to improved air quality, thereby reducing energy-related health impacts worldwide (22-32 million fewer disability-adjusted life years in 2030). At the same time, low-carbon technologies and energy-efficiency improvements can help to further the energy security goals of individual countries and regions by promoting a more dependable, resilient, and diversified energy portfolio. The cost savings of these climate policy synergies are potentially enormous: $100-600 billion annually by 2030 in reduced pollution control and energy security expenditures (0.1-0.7% of GDP). Novel aspects of this work include an explicit quantification of the health-related co-benefits of present and future air pollution control policies; an analysis of how future constraints on regional trade could influence energy security; a detailed assessment of energy expenditures showing where financing needs to flow in order to achieve the multiple energy sustainability objectives; and a quantification of the relationships between different fulfillment levels for energy security and air pollution goals and the probability of reaching the 2°C climate target.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords: IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2016 10:02
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26

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