The Extension of the RAINS Model to Greenhouse Gases

Klaassen, G., Amann, M. ORCID:, Berglund, C., Cofala, J., Höglund-Isaksson, L. ORCID:, Heyes, C. ORCID:, Mechler, R. ORCID:, Tohka, A., et al. (2004). The Extension of the RAINS Model to Greenhouse Gases. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-04-015

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Many of the traditional air pollutants and greenhouse gases have common sources, offering a cost-effective potential for simultaneous improvements for both traditional air pollution problems as well as climate change. A methodology has been developed to extend the RAINS integrated assessment model to explore synergies and trade-offs between the control of greenhouse gases and air pollution. With this extension, the RAINS model allows now the assessment of emission control costs for the six greenhouse gases covered under the Kyoto Protocol (CO2, CH4, N2O and the three F-gases) together with the emissions of air pollutants SO2, NOX, VOC, NH3 AND PM.

In the first phase of the study, emissions, costs and control potentials for the six greenhouse gases covered in the Kyoto Protocol have been estimated and implemented in the RAINS model. Emission estimates are based on methodologies and emission factors proposed by the IPCC emission reporting guidelines. The large number of control options for greenhouse gases have been grouped into approximately 150 packages of measures and implemented in the RAINS model for the European countries. These control options span a wide range of cost-effectiveness. There a re certain advanced technical measures with moderate costs, and certain measures exist for which the economic assessment suggests even negative costs, if major side impacts (cost savings) are calculated.

Illustrative example calculations clearly demonstrate that conclusions on the cost-effectiveness of emission reduction strategies are crucially depending on the boundaries of the analysis. The net cost of greenhouse gas control strategies are significantly lower if the immediate cost-savings from avoided air pollution control costs are taken into consideration. For a 15 percent reduction of the CO2 emissions from the power sector in the EU, avoided pollution control costs could compensate two third of the CO2 control costs. Depending on the design of the control strategy, net costs of greenhouse gas mitigation could even be negative, which is in stark contrast to conclusions for a CO2 only strategy. However, there are certain greenhouse gas mitigation measures, such as increased use of biomass that could deteriorate the negative impacts of air pollution, while yielding very little economic synergies.

A combined approach towards greenhouse gas mitigation and air pollution control would not only reveal economic synergies, but also harness additional environmental benefits. Even in a situation with stringent emission control requirements for air pollution as it is required by the EU legislation, modifications in fuel use geared towards reductions of greenhouse gases could lead as a side impact to significant reductions in the residual emissions of air pollutants. The economic benefits of such "windfall emission reductions" could be substantial.

The extended RAINS model framework will offer a tool to systematically investigate such economic and environmental synergies between greenhouse gas mitigation and air pollution control while avoiding negative side impacts.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Transboundary Air Pollution (TAP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:17
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:18

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