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Ancillary benefits of reduced air pollution in the US from moderate greenhouse gas mitigation policies in the electricity sector. (English) Zbl 1047.91559
Summary: Actions to slow atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases also would reduce conventional air pollutants yielding ”ancillary” benefits that tend to accrue locally and in the near-term. Using a detailed electricity model linked to an integrated assessment framework to value changes in human health, we find a tax of $25 per metric ton of carbon emissions would yield NOx-related health benefits of about $8 per metric ton of carbon reduced in the year 2010 (1997 dollars). Additional savings of $4–$7 accrue from reduced investment in NO\(_x\) and SO\(_2\) abatement in order to comply with emission caps. Total ancillary benefits of a $25 carbon tax are $12–$14, which appear to justify the costs of a $25 tax, although marginal benefits are less than marginal costs. At a tax of $75, greater total benefits are achieved but the value per ton of carbon reductions remains roughly constant at about $12.

MSC:
91B76 Environmental economics (natural resource models, harvesting, pollution, etc.)
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