Saturday, November 08, 2008

Co-Benefits: Management Options for Local Pollution & GHG Emissions Control

While discussing the co-benefits, it is important to understand two things. (a) Economic, social, and environmental growth (triple bottom line) – occurs first in the urban centers (b) The urban centers will be the first to react to any policy and regulation changes on emission control – local and global.

Focusing on global emissions alone will not be enough - we need to get out of this pervasive either-or thinking. Local pollution and global climate change are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they are meant to be tackled together. One without the other will not work. It’s a matter of simple mathematics and increasing the effectiveness of the interventions via co-benefits.

Due to regulations and compliance issues for urban centers – industrial and residential, the primary driver for any policy intervention remains the local air pollution. It is important to note that reducing local air pollution via technical, policy, or economic interventions, leads to co-benefits reducing not only the particulate pollution but also regional pollutants such as sulfur dioxide causing acid rain or carbon dioxide leading to climate change.

Point being, for an effective strategy towards a low carbon society, actions need to be customized and addressed at the local level, with local priorities at hand.

Full paper on "Co-Benefit Options" for urban Asia is available as SIM Working Papers @

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