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Transport Emissions & Social Cost Assessment: Methodology Guide

Transport Emissions & Social Cost Assessment: Methodology Guide

Full Title: Transport Emissions & Social Cost Assessment: Methodology Guide
Author(s): Su Song
Publisher(s): World Resources Institute
Publication Date: January 1, 2017
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Transport plays a key role in urban emissions. Because of fast urbanization and motorization in many cities, transport (especially road transport) is a growing and major source of air pollutants. In OECD countries, road transport accounts for about 50% of the cost of air pollution (OECD, 2014). If one takes into account aviation and shipping, the total emissions share would be even higher. In emerging economies such as China and India, the estimates are lower because of the contribution from other sources, but transport emissions nonetheless represent a large and significantly increasing burden. In Chinese big cities, for example, transport is estimated to contribute about 15–35% of local PM2.5 in urban areas (Song, 2014b). Besides general air pollutants, transport also emits CO2 and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as black carbon particles and methane, thus contributing to near- and longterm climate change and local air quality degradation. The World Health Organization finds that there is a strong link between air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases—such as stroke and ischemic heart disease, and even lung cancer (WHO, 2014). The particulate matter component of air pollution is most closely associated with increased cancer incidence, especially lung cancer. Children, women, the elderly, and the poor are the most vulnerable groups. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the cost of the health impact of air pollution in OECD countries (including deaths and illness) was about US$1.7 trillion in 2010 (OECD, 2014). In 2010, the cost of the health impact of air pollution was about US$1.4 trillion in China and about US$0.5 trillion in India. Given the contribution of transport, I estimate that the health impact cost of air pollution from the transport sector in 2010 was more than US$0.9 trillion in OECD countries, US$0.2 trillion in China, and US$0.07 trillion in India. These numbers are still climbing in Asian developing countries, where rapid urbanization and traffic growth (motorization) are outpacing the adoption of tighter controls on emissions from vehicles.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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