01 May 2008

Cost-benefit analysis and air quality policy

Air quality policy measures implemented in the past decades have successfully reduced national pollutant emissions in all European countries. Not surprisingly, it now becomes more difficult to identify additional measures that will lead to meaningful emission reductions and air quality improvements, and costs associated with such measures tend to escalate.

CBA is used to evaluate whether the societal benefits of a particular policy option will exceed its societal costs, but does not explore alternatives to this option. To ensure that policy development is robust, it is important therefore to take a broader view and consider whether money spent to address one societal ‘risk’ may provide greater societal benefits if used elsewhere.

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