Keywords: air quality, ancillary benefits, climate change, health effect, Korea, valuation
Empirical study of environmental ancillary benefits due to greenhouse gas mitigation in Korea
This study is a part of the International Co-Control Analysis Program (ICAP), which is an initiative sponsored by the US EPA to assist developing countries in evaluating the environmental and human health benefits of technologies and policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of the Korea study is primarily two-fold: i) to assess and quantify the environmental ancillary benefit resulting from greenhouse gas mitigation and ii) to help government officials and stakeholders to understand the air pollution benefits of energy technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thus the results of this analysis can enhance support for appropriate policy for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and air quality control programmes. The results reveal that modest greenhouse gas reduction scenarios (5–15% reductions in 2020) can result in significant health benefits through reductions in PM10 concentrations. For instance, these greenhouse gas reduction measures for Korea’s energy sector could avoid 40 to 120 premature deaths per year and 2800 to 8300 cases per year of asthma and other respiratory diseases in the Seoul Metropolitan Area in 2020. The annual cumulative value of these avoided health effects is estimated to range from 17 to 21 million US$ (in 1999 dollars). This is equivalent to a benefit of $6.8 to $7.5 per ton of carbon emissions reduced for the climate change scenarios. Policy-makers agreed that the ICAP approach and the results of this project were useful in informing policy-makers and the public of the co-benefit impacts of policy decisions and assisting with the development of cost-effective integrated strategies to address both local air quality issues and GHG mitigation concerns simultaneously.