Ancillary Benefits of Climate Policies for the Mitigation of Atmospheric Mercury Emissions
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Mitigation of Air Pollution & Greenhouse Gases Program, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
This study provides an analysis of the impact of global climate policies on mercury emissions using the Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model in the time horizon up to 2050. The time evolution of mercury emissions is based on projections of energy consumption provided by the Prospective Outlook for the Long term Energy System (POLES) model for a scenario without any global greenhouse gas mitigation efforts, and for a 2°C climate policy scenario, which assumes internationally coordinated action to mitigate climate change. Outcomes of the analysis are reported globally and for key world regions: EU-27, China, India and the US. The assessment takes into account current air pollution control legislation in each country. Scenario calculations for mercury emissions indicate significant scope for co-benefits made possible through climate policies. Atmospheric releases of mercury from anthropogenic sources under the global climate mitigation regime are reduced in 2050 by 45% when compared to the case without climate measures. Around one third of co-benefits for mercury emissions estimated world-wide in this study by 2050 are allocated to China. An annual Hg-abatement of about 800 tons is estimated for the coal combustion in power sector if the current air pollution legislation and climate policies are adopted in parallel.
Key words: Mercury emissions / Air pollution control / Climate policy / Co-benefits
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.