|Title||Meeting Multiple Targets Simultaneously - co-reductions for air pollution and global climate change|
|Collaborators||Alex Farrell (CMU), J. Jason West (MIT)|
|Keywords||Carbon Dioxide, NOx, SO2, Air Pollution, Control Technology, Climate Change, Particulate Matter, Ozone|
Traditionally, separate environmental problems in air, water, and waste have often received separate policy responses. Now, achieving the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions may - because it is collective and long-term in nature - take a back seat in many nations to more local and immediate concerns over air pollution.
In the United States, traditional means of addressing air pollution by tropospheric ozone and fine particulate matter have focused on "end-of-pipe" emissions controls on SO2, NOx, and VOCs. These emissions reductions have often come at the cost of increasing CO2 emissions. Rather than seeing global climate change as being a goal in opposition to reducing air pollution, however, the US - having stated targets for ozone, fine particulate matter, and CO2 emissions - now has the opportunity to consider these targets simultaneously, and to capitalize on those abatement options which address multiple problems. Stated generally, we will ask what combination of emissions reductions strategies could be most cost-effectively employed to meet these multiple targets. Do the preferred strategies for addressing multiple targets differ from those when targets are considered individually? In particular, does the need to reduce CO2 emissions imply a movement away from end-of-pipe controls towards efficiency improvements or renewable energy, and would such changes require new regulatory frameworks? Or does CO2 sequestration allow for end-of-pipe controls to continue to be used, and for problems to be addressed separately?
Regarding developing nations, improvements in local air pollution could be a major way in which developing nations could benefit from technology leapfrogging and clean development mechanisms. What opportunities are there for such projects?
We will address these questions by considering the costs involved with general classes of abatement measures, focusing on energy policy and the emissions of SO2, NOx and CO2. In particular, we plan to consider fuel switching, renewable energy, efficiency improvements, and use of traditional smokestack controls for SO2 and NOx. We will focus primarily on large, stationary sources, especially electricity plants.