Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Economic evaluation of air-quality targets

The European Commission, DG XI, has published an invitation to tender for the completion of an economic evaluation of air-quality targets for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine and suspended particulate matter and lead (Open invitation to tender reference: XI/B1/ETU/0005).

This study in required in view of the forthcoming adoption of a Directive on the assessment and management of air quality in the Community which will provide the framework for subsequent "daughter" directives on single air pollutants, including SO2, NO2, fine and suspended particulate matter and lead.

One aim of the framework directive is to define and establish objectives for ambient air quality ("limit values"). Limit values are fixed on the basis of scientific knowledge, so as to avoid, reduce and prevent harmful effects on human health and the environment as a whole. They are to be attained within a given time period.

The study should take the range of limit values for ambient air quality as given and analyse the costs and benefits of attaining these values. These costs and benefits should be compared with the costs (loss of benefits) of no further action beyond current legislation. Costs are to be determined on the basis of least-cost solutions. The analysis should identify the main sector(s) that are the primary contributors to each of the five air pollutants considered and proceed as follows:

- Determination and localization of areas of excess pollution according to pre-specified limit values, taking into account the (future) impact of current EU and national legislation geared at controlling emissions (no further action);

- Identification of regions and sectors responsible for excess air pollution (delineation of the appropriate spatial level of action);

- Overview of possible measures and associated costs in the relevant regions to meet the limit values;

- Determination of a (least-cost) package of measures to meet the limit values;

- Assessment of costs and benefits of implementing such measures.

The economic methodology used should be based on a comparison of the costs of achieving the air-quality targets set with the benefits to Member States. Regarding costs, the study should identify the least-cost solution to meet the limit values. This involves two separate tasks:

- To collect (engineering) estimates of the capital and operating costs of technical and non-technical emission control options for both stationary and mobile sources and rank the options on the basis of their cost-efficiency (costs per ton emission abated);

- To identify the least-cost solution for attaining the set air ambient quality standards. Benefits should be estimated using three damage categories: human health, ecosystems and material welfare. The emphasis should be on estimating the monetary damage/benefits for human health. Damage to ecosystems and material welfare should be indicated in physical terms and, using existing studies, expressed, whenever possible, in monetary terms.

The study should cover all EU countries. The time horizon of the study should be in line with the envisaged compliance schedule for the ambient air-quality values. Tenderers should demonstrate:

- Experience in analysis of costs of controlling the emissions of the five substances and finding least-cost solutions;
- Experience in monetary valuation of benefits related to the five pollutants;
- Experience in air-quality modelling at different spatial levels;
- Access to information in Member States.
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