Modeling Air-Pollution Damages from Fossil Fuel Use in Urban Areas in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

March 29, 2001 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90

The burden of damages from air pollution due to energy use falls disproportionately on people in developing countries. Reducing the damages from air pollution should be based on reducing emissions from pollution sources that cause the most damage. Various models have been used to assess health, non-health, and economic damages of air pollution from fuel use in different sectors, as a step in identifying least-cost mitigation measures. These models can be important tools in setting air pollution control strategies for cities and larger geographic regions, but they are typically limited in scope to ambient exposures, and ignore important indoor pollution sources. We have taken one such model, prepared by the World Bank, and modified it to incorporate damages estimates from human exposure to air pollution from indoor energy use in residences, and to perform sensitivity analysis on all key inputs to the model. Comparison of the results of the model with and without the indoor air pollution module for case studies of Mumbai and Shanghai shows that, as expected, damages from indoor residential sources are far greater than damages from outdoor pollution sources. Sensitivity analysis of the results reveals a number of factors, ranging from fuel use and residence characteristics to valuation of specific types of damages, that would need to be better specified in applying this model in a policy-making setting.

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