A Novel Combination of Methods Developed for Decision Support on Abatement of Mercury in Europe
1 NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Center for Ecology and Economics (CEE), Kjeller, NORWAY
2 Faculty of chemistry, Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, POLAND
There is clear evidence from the global mercury cycle that there is an urgent need for actions to reduce global anthropogenic mercury emissions. A legally- binding global agreement to reduce emissions of mercury is soon in place, meaning that many countries need to take steps to lower their emissions. Identification and assessment of policy options that already are in place as well as setting pollution control objectives and developing effective strategies to meet these objectives, are depending on a decision support tool that allows for identifying current and future environmental problems and to reduce these problems by providing a holistic management approach. Recent scientific advancement allows a more complete picture of the mercury problems and solutions to the problems, which is of outmost interest when it comes to justifying spending resources on the relevant measures. To make sure that resource allocation is favoring human welfare, the economic costs of introducing these measures need to be compared to their economic benefits. The major goal of this study was to provide a novel combination of assessment tools that form a framework for a decision support system towards environmental policy on mercury in Europe. The decision support tool was intended to act as a guideline for policy makers for the purpose of introducing cost- effective abatement of mercury. It was for the EU 27 countries demonstrated that large economic benefits can be achieved globally with reduced mercury emissions in the EU region. The investigated Baseline scenario thus highlighted the importance of full implementation of existing measures and the importance of making further progress in reducing mercury emissions from European sources. Reducing emissions in developing countries may however, be more cost effective, which basically reconfirms the need for a global convention on mercury.
Key words: Policy / Mercury / Decision support / Abatement / Costs / Benefits
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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