Theme 2 Realisation, costs and benefits


The work within Theme 2 is directed towards the outcome of strategies in terms of improvements and towards development of tools and analysis of the economic benefits of further reductions. It also includes assessments of different scenarios, in particular those directed towards controlling greenhouse emissions.

The work in Theme 2 will focus on assessing if reduced emissions have had the beneficial effects in terms of chemical and biological indicators that was intended and if recovery of ecosystems has occurred as a result of reduced pollution load. Furthermore, the role of other political and economical factors in reducing atmospheric emissions will also be assessed. This includes political and economical issues such as expanding membership in EU, globalisation of energy markets etc.

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) has become a more and more widely used tool for assessment within the environmental field. Within the EU, recommendations for standardisation of CBAs are currently underway. Recently, the Swedish EPA made an investigation of CBAs as a future area of research and development in relation to environmental policy. The experiences and outcome of that investigation will form an important background for the Theme 2 of the ASTA programme. Theme 2 of ASTA Phase II will contribute to the improvement and development of concepts for economic quantification but also other similar valuation methods such as multi-effect analysis. The starting point for this activity is the knowledge gained on acidification and ozone effects on crops and forests. The key questions are how and if ecosystem health can be valued in monetary terms? How do we take into account different recovery rates of ecosystems at different deposition scenarios? The results should be compatible for the use in the RAINS model and other large-scale modelling/mapping tools within the CLRTAP and EU. These activities will be based on an intimate collaboration between economists and natural scientists.

Further emission control strategies will take their starting point in baseline scenarios. The choice of baseline scenarios is likely to become critical for the outcome of air pollution strategies. They have to be actively considered by ASTA during Phase II. A baseline scenario should be a reflection of current policies against which additional policies can be evaluated. The impact and implementation of the Kyoto protocol will have to be considered in a baseline scenario along with implementation of various environmental regulations (including EU directives) and strategies, trends in different sectors (energy, agriculture, traffic, industry) and economic activity. The time horizons chosen are also of large importance. Ultimately, gaps in environmental quality will be defined using the baseline scenario as the reference. Theme 2 will contribute to the international work in this area by evaluation of proposed baseline scenarios. A more substantial contribution will be made on non-technical measures and how these should be included in baseline scenarios.

The projects within Theme 2:

2.1 Realisation of international agreements and their effects on emissions, exposures and ecosystems

2.2 Valuation of effects

2.3 Scenarios and non-technical measures