Global and local challenges - demand for co-benefit concern

During recent years focus has shifted from local air pollution challenges, toward global threats due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their impact on climate. Integrating air pollution abatement and climate change mitigation policies offers however potentially large cost reductions compared to treating the challenges isolated. NILU is engages in several projects studying local air pollution and climate interaction.

Local air pollution is a global challenge 

Local air pollution is a growing challenge in the rapid growth cities, especially in the developing countries. The economic development and urbanization has resulted in challenges concerning both energy supply and environmental stress. Urban air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is responsible for 537,000 premature deaths per year in Asia alone. Air quality levels in many of the mega-cities of the world are by far falling short of air quality standards.

NILU is presently engaged in two international projects studying the impact of the mega-cities on the environment.

One-sided focus may cause side effects

To focus solely on GHG emissions may cause unwanted side effects. In some cases, e.g. related to the use of bio fuels, the benefits gained on reducing net greenhouse gas emissions may result in a substantial increase in local air pollution, with a subsequent damaging effect on human health.

Global and local challenges - demand for co-benefit concern

Carbon capture

In the race for reduced GHG emissions there may be methodologies to capture CO2 emissions that need further assessment of the impacts of local emissions into the environment. One example is the possible environmental impact of amine emissions, projected to be used in the CO2 capture process. The effects of these amines on the environment are presently unknown.  In order to investigate and avoid any unexpected effects, NILU participates in a Norwegian multi discipline project to study the use of amines in the process.

NILU will focus on co-control and co-benefit

Focusing co-benefit actions is and will be an important part of NILU’s research, both in the local and regional air quality management planning as well as in the study of climate change mitigations and their effects.

NILU is involved in two research projects under the European Union’s 7th Framework Program on research; the MEGAPOLI and CITIZEN projects, where the main objective is to investigate how the mega cities, the air pollution and climates interact, as a basis for better health effects assessments and abatement policies.

Global and local challenges - demand for co-benefit concern
NILU also has a long history of studies in several large cities in the world; in China, India and many other countries, where the general objective has been to develop action plans for cost-effective air pollution control. The plans now also include GHG emission considerations and abatement strategies in an integrated manner, so-called co-control.
Global and local challenges - demand for co-benefit concern

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