28 April 2021

New OECD Report: The Economic Benefits of Air Quality Improvements in Arctic Council Countries

The OECD launched a new report on 28 April 2021 that assesses the biophysical and economic benefits of air pollution policies in Arctic Council countries. The analysis relies on a suite of modelling tools - including IIASA's GAINS model - to project the impacts of increasingly ambitious policy action up to 2050, compared with business as usual.



The Arctic is a vital region that helps preserve the balance of the global climate. Its environment is particularly sensitive to short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, due to their strong warming effect. If Arctic Council countries were to implement more ambitious policy action to reduce a wide range of air pollutants, they would obtain a positive effect on health and the environment throughout their territory, while also helping to slow down climate change by reducing emissions of black carbon.

The OECD employed a suite of modelling tools for the study. IIASA's GAINS model provided projections of air pollutants, emission reduction potentials, and required investments in emission reduction technologies for a range of different scenarios. The global air quality source-receptor model TM5-FASST of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission linked the emission projections with exposure to PM2.5 and ground-level ozone. The OECD's own ENV-Linkages model was used to quantify the economic consequences of air pollution over the time period to 2050.

The resulting report provides projections of different scenarios on policy action to reduce air pollution with a 2050 time horizon. Further policy action to improve air quality in Arctic Council countries would result in health and environmental benefits, while also resulting in economic benefits since the health and the environmental impacts of air pollution generate considerable economic costs to society.

The Economic Benefits of Air Quality Improvements in Arctic Council Countries calls for ambitious policy action to reduce air pollution in Arctic Council countries, highlighting the environmental, health, and economic benefits from policy action.

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Last edited: 28 April 2021


Zbigniew Klimont

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Pollution Management Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 547

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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