Main content area

Ancillary benefits of climate policy in a small open economy: The case of Sweden

Krook Riekkola, Anna, Ahlgren, Erik O., Söderholm, Patrik
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.9 pp. 4985-4998
carbon dioxide, climate, energy, environmental impact, fuels, greenhouse gases, issues and policy, methane, models, nitrogen oxides, pollutants, sulfur dioxide, system optimization, volatile organic compounds, Sweden
It is increasingly recognised that GHG reduction policies can have important ancillary benefits in the form of positive local and regional environmental impacts. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the domestic ancillary pollution benefits of climate policy in Sweden, and investigate how these are affected by different climate policy designs. The latter differ primarily in terms of how the country chooses to meet a specific target and where the necessary emission reductions take place. The analysis relies on simulations within the energy system optimisation model TIMES-Sweden, and focuses on four non-GHG pollutants: Nitrogen Oxides (NOX), Non Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOC), inhalable particles (PM₂.₅), and Sulphur dioxide (SO₂). The simulations permit detailed assessments of the respective technology and fuel choices that underlie any net changes in the estimated ancillary effects. The results indicate that the ancillary benefits constitute a far from insignificant share of total system costs, and this share appears to be highest in the scenarios that entail the largest emission reductions domestically. This result reflects the fact that carbon dioxide emission reductions abroad also implies a lost opportunity of achieving substantial domestic welfare gain from the reductions of regional and local environmental pollutants.