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Main Title: Coal-exit health and environmental damage reductions outweigh economic impacts
Author(s): Rauner, Sebastian
Bauer, Nico
Dirnaichner, Alois
Dingenen, Rita Van
Mutel, Chris
Luderer, Gunnar
Type: Article
Abstract: Cheap and abundant coal fuelled the industrialization of Europe, North America and Asia1. However, the price tag on coal has never reflected the external cost to society; coal combustion produces more than a third of today’s global CO2 emissions and is a major contributor to local adverse effects on the environment and public health, such as biodiversity loss and respiratory diseases. Here, we show that phasing out coal yields substantial local environmental and health benefits that outweigh the direct policy costs due to shortening of the energy supply. Phasing out coal is thus a no-regret strategy for most world regions, even when only accounting for domestic effects and neglecting the global benefits from slowing climate change. Our results suggest that these domestic effects potentially eliminate much of the free-rider problem caused by the discrepancy between the national burden of decarbonization costs and the internationally shared benefits of climate change impact mitigation. This, combined with the profound effect of closing around half of the global CO2 emissions gap towards the 2 °C target, makes coal phase-out policies attractive candidates for the iterative strengthening of the nationally determined contributions pledged by the countries under the Paris Agreement.
Subject(s): energy and society
energy modelling
environmental impact
Issue Date: 23-Mar-2020
Date Available: 26-Apr-2021
Is Part Of: 10.14279/depositonce-11366
Language Code: en
DDC Class: 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und zugeordnete Tätigkeiten
Sponsor/Funder: BMBF, 03SFK4P0, Verbundvorhaben ENavi: Energiewende-Navigationssystem zur Erfassung, Analyse und Simulation der systemischen Vernetzungen" - Teilvorhaben P0
BMBF, 01LP1928C, China-Pilotprojekte - Verbundprojekt: Integrierte empirische Analyse von Klimaschutzmaßnahmen und lokaler Luftverschmutzung (INTEGRATE), Teilprojekt 3: Berücksichtigung von verschiedenen Luftreinhaltungspolitiken mit dem Fokus auf regionalem Vergleich
BMBF, 01LA1826C, Ökonomie des Klimawandels - Verbundprojekt: Die politische Ökonomie eines globalen Kohleausstiegs (PEGASOS) - Teilprojekt 3: Modellierung und Szenarienanalysen
Journal Title: Nature Climate Change
Publisher: Springer
Volume: 10
Publisher DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0728-x
Page Start: 308
Page End: 312
EISSN: 1758-6798
ISSN: 1758-678X
TU Affiliation(s): Fak. 3 Prozesswissenschaften » Inst. Energietechnik » FG Globale Energiesystemanalyse
Appears in Collections:Technische Universität Berlin » Publications

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