Working Paper Number
In addition to global climate benefits, carbon mitigation improves local air quality by reducing emissions of hazardous co-pollutants. Using data on large industrial point sources in Europe, we estimate how changes in carbon dioxide emissions affect emissions of the three co-pollutants SOX, NOX, and PM10 for samples of 727 to 2,653 facilities for the years 2007 to 2015. We find substantial and significant co-pollutant elasticities of 0.7 for SOX and NOX, and 0.5 for PM10, which are robust to different estimation approaches. Large CO2 emitters and the energy sector are characterized by higher-than-average co-pollutant elasticities. For climate policy induced CO2 emission reductions we find co-pollutant elasticities in the energy sector of 1.2 for SOX, 1.0 for NOX, and 0.8 for PM10. Using these estimates to calculate monetary air quality co- benefits suggests that conventional European Environmental Agency estimates of carbon damages that omit co-benefits significantly underestimate the benefits of carbon mitigation.
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