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Climate policies can help resolve energy security and air pollution challenges
Date:11/14/2011

to be a bit conservative, according to the scientists. "We've used a partial economic accounting approach, which means we have not attempted to place an economic value on the many other co-benefits of achieving these three critical sustainability objectives, such as reduced health expenditures and increased life expectancies especially for the world's poorest reduced eutrophication and acidification damage to vegetation, or reduced fossil-fuel subsidies. Similarly the mid- to long-term avoided costs of climate change impacts and of adaptation measures have also not been quantified," states co-author Volker Krey, IIASA.

The practice of integrating sustainable energy policies within a holistic framework offers marked advantages over traditional approaches, which, because they are typically more fragmented, often ignore important policy synergies.

Leader of IIASA's Energy Program, Keywan Riahi adds that alignment of policies can be complicated due to time disparities.

"One of the difficulties for policy makers is that these issues are often viewed on very different time scales: climate change for example, is seen as a mid- to long-term issue (2030-2050 and beyond), while energy security and air pollution are viewed with near-term urgency (for the next two decades). Thus, the policies discussed for each objective fail to complement each other; or worse, they may compete for attention. When this happens, for instance, through single-minded policies for security or air pollution, the potential for synergies and co-benefits is largely lost," concludes Riahi.

As world leaders prepare to travel to Durban for the next round of UNFCCC climate talks, the authors are urging for a new lens to be cast on policy development when it comes to climate change mitigation, stating that a far deeper appreciation is needed of the multiple and far-ranging benefits of 'green growth' and, in particular, the advantage of using climate policy as a driv
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Contact: Leane Regan
regan@iiasa.ac.at
43-664-443-0368
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Source:Eurekalert

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