Assessment of past, present and future health-cost externalities of air pollution in Europe and the contribution from international ship traffic using the EVA model system

by J Brandt, J D Silver, J H Christensen, M S Andersen, J H Bonlokke, T Sigsgaard, C Geels, A Gross, A B Hansen, K M Hansen, G B Hedegaard, E Kaas, L M Frohn show all authors


An integrated model system, EVA (Economic Valuation of Air pollution),\nbased on the impact-pathway chain has been developed to assess the\nhealth-related economic externalities of air pollution resulting from\nspecific emission sources or sectors. The model system can be used to\nsupport policy-making with respect to emission control. In this study,\nwe apply the EVA system to Europe, and perform a more detailed\nassessment of past, present, and future health-cost externalities of the\ntotal air pollution levels in Europe (including both natural and\nanthropogenic sources), represented by the years 2000, 2007, 2011, and\n2020. We also assess the contribution to the health-related external\ncosts from international ship traffic with special attention to the\ninternational ship traffic in the Baltic and North seas, since special\nregulatory actions on sulfur emissions, called SECA (sulfur emission\ncontrol area), have been introduced in these areas. We conclude that,\ndespite efficient regulatory actions in Europe in recent decades, air\npollution still constitutes a serious problem for human health. Hence\nthe related external costs are considerable. The total health-related\nexternal costs for the whole of Europe are estimated at 803 bn euros\nyr(-1) for the year 2000, decreasing to 537 bn euros yr(-1) in the year\n2020. We estimate the total number of premature deaths in Europe in the\nyear 2000 due to air pollution to be around 680 000 yr(-1), decreasing\nto approximately 450 000 in the year 2020. The contribution from\ninternational ship traffic in the Northern Hemisphere was estimated to\n7% of the total health-related external costs in Europe in the year\n2000, increasing to 12% in the year 2020. In contrast, the contribution\nfrom international ship traffic in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea\ndecreases 36% due to the regulatory efforts of reducing sulfur\nemissions from ship traffic in SECA. Introducing this regulatory\ninstrument for all international ship traffic in the Northern\nHemisphere, or at least in areas close to Europe, would have a\nsignificant positive impact on human health in Europe.

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