Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 383–415 | Cite as

Quantifying the Ancillary Benefits of the Representative Concentration Pathways on Air Quality in Europe

  • Milan Ščasný
  • Emanuele Massetti
  • Jan Melichar
  • Samuel Carrara


This paper presents economic benefit estimates of air quality improvements in Europe that occur as a side effect of GHG emission reductions. We consider two climate policy scenarios from two representative concentration pathways (RCPs), in which radiative forcing levels are reached in 2100. The policy tool is a global uniform tax on all GHG emissions in the integrated assessment model WITCH. The resulting consumption patterns of fossil fuels are used to estimate the physical impacts and the economic benefits of pollution reductions on human health and on key assets by implementing the most advanced version of the ExternE methodology with its impact pathway analysis. The mitigation scenario compatible with \(+2\,^{\circ }\hbox {C}\) (RCP 2.6) reduces total pollution costs in Europe by 84 %. Discounted cumulative ancillary benefits are equal to about €1.7 trillion between 2015 and 2100, or €17 per abated tonne of \(\hbox {CO}_{2}\) in Europe. The less strict climate policy scenario (RCP 4.5) generates benefits equal to €15.5 per abated tonne of \(\hbox {CO}_{2}\). Without discounting, the ancillary benefits are equal to €46 (RCP 2.6) and €51 (RCP 4.5) per tonne of \(\hbox {CO}_{2}\) abated. For both scenarios, the local benefits per tonne of \(\hbox {CO}_{2}\) decline over time and vary significantly across countries.


Ancillary benefits Climate change mitigation External costs ExternE Impact pathway analysis Integrated assessment models 

JEL Classification

Q47 Q51 Q53 Q54 



This research received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under the grant agreement \(\hbox {n}^{\circ }\) 266992 GLOBAL-IQ “Impacts Quantification of Global changes”. The preparation for the manuscript received support from project ECOCEP (Economic Modelling for Climate-Energy Policy) funded by the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES, Grant Agreement No. 609642. This support is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are grateful to Thomas Sterner and to an anonymous referee for providing valuable comments and suggestions during the preparation of this paper. We would also like to thank Laura Henderson Macháčková and Alicia Berrios for proofreading this article. Responsibility for any errors remains with the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milan Ščasný
    • 1
  • Emanuele Massetti
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jan Melichar
    • 1
  • Samuel Carrara
    • 3
  1. 1.Environment CenterCharles University in PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Fondazione Eni Enrico MatteiMilanItaly

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