Investment perspectives on costs for air pollution control affect the optimal use of emission control measures
Journal article, 2019

Cost-effective air pollution emission control has been in focus for decades in international air pollution regulations. Despite large observed emission reductions for many air pollutants, environmental and human health problems persist and more efforts are needed. However, some stakeholders are concerned that the costs for remaining emission control measures are prohibitively high. There are several reasons for concern, and one can be the difference in investment perspectives—i.e. costs of borrowing and time constraints—held by stakeholders. By using the integrated assessment model GAINS, we study whether differences in investment perspectives of Nordic stakeholders influence measures selected for cost-effective emission control and can motivate concerns for high costs of emission control. We distinguish the control cost calculations between a social planner perspective and a corporate perspective and apply these to the GAINS model database on emission control measures. A cost-minimized selection of measures in 2030 is then calculated for increasing environmental and health ambitions for both perspectives. The results show an irregular pattern, but for a range of ambition levels the corporate perspective affects the selection of measures and implies surplus costs for the Nordic social planner of up to 120 million € per year. This is 36% more expensive than the costs of the social planners’ selection. Conversely, from a corporate perspective the social planners’ selection can imply cost increases of up to 180 million €. We therefore suggest that control of investment perspective effects should be standard in analysis of cost-effective air pollution measures.

Cost-effective policy

Time perspective

Cost-effective emission control

Air pollution policy

Investment perspectives


Stefan Åström

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Gregor Kiesewetter

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Wolfgang Schöpp

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Robert Sander

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Sofia Andersson

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

1618-954X (ISSN)

Vol. 21 3 695-705

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


Environmental Management

Environmental Sciences



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