The goal of this project is to examine key policy questions about the connection between regional air pollution and climate change in Europe. These questions are:
- How will climate change affect the success of policies to control regional air pollution in Europe, and vice versa?
- What is the relative importance and overlapping occurrence of regional air pollution and climate change impacts in Europe?
- What are joint targets and strategies that can effectively reduce both regional air pollution and climate change impacts in Europe?
The instrument for addressing these questions is an integrated modeling framework. This framework consists of parts of two state-of-the-art integrated models covering regional air pollution in Europe (RAINS) and global climate change (IMAGE 2), supplemented by new components. Funding is being requested for application of the framework, not for its development. The framework will be used to develop scenarios which explore the above questions.
These scenarios will cover from 1995 to 2100, with a spatial resolution ranging from the country-scale to grid scale, and will consist of:
(a) Emissions leading to regional air pollution and climate change,
(b) Changes in the atmosphere including the build-up of regional air pollutants and greenhouse gases together with deposition of air pollutants and changes in temperature and precipitation, and
(c) Impacts of climate change and regional air pollution based on exceedances of critical thresholds and an "environmental balance sheet''.
The environmental balance sheet will compare
(a) estimates of emission abatement costs and
(b) estimated geographic coverage of impacts, for various scenarios.
The proposed study will be unique in its comprehensive treatment of the linkage of these two major problems in Europe, in its simultaneous coupling of scientific and policy aspects of these two problems, and in its use of the "critical threshold" concept for both regional air pollution and climate change in a single analysis.
The expected results and benefits of this project will be:
1. New quantitative information about the influence of climate change on policies to control regional air pollution in Europe, and vice versa,
2. New quantitative information about the relative importance of these two problems in Europe's future,
3. New insights into joint policies and targets that can deal with both regional air pollution and climate change at the same time.
This new information can significantly improve the factual basis of European environmental policy. Moreover, the project will promote communication between policymakers & experts in two distinct European communities (those mostly concerned with regional air pollution and those with climate change), and encourage broader thinking about European environmental protection.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3720 BA Bilthoven