The costs and benefits of a nitrogen emission control area in the Baltic and North Seas

Air pollution is the largest health risk from environmental causes, mainly driven by human exposure to fine particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter
We analyse the potential for emission reduction, emission control costs, and monetised benefits following the introduction of a NECA. Costs and benefits are compared for 2030. We compile new data on emission control costs for shipping, use the GAINS model for calculations of emission dispersion, and the Alpha-RiskPoll model for estimating monetary values of health impacts. The model results show that costs to conform to the NOX regulations of a NECA in the Baltic Sea, North Sea or both sea regions would be 111 (100–123), 181 (157–209), and 230 (195–273) million € per year, respectively.

Corresponding benefits from reduced emissions are estimated to be 139 (56–294), 869 (335–1882), and 1007 (392–2177) million € per year, respectively. Calculated benefits surpass costs for most scenarios, but less convincingly for a Baltic Sea NECA. Conforming to the NECA regulations by using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion engines is estimated to give the highest net benefits but also the largest variation (costs: 153 (88–238), benefits: 1556 (49–3795) million €/year). The variations are mainly due to uncertainties in the valuation of avoided fatalities and climate impacts. It is concluded that the NECAs for the Baltic and North Seas can be justified using CBA under all but extreme assumptions.

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Last updated: 2021-06-24

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.

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