Summary:

  • The benefits that came with using a cap-and-trade market to reduce ground-level ozone pollution were at least twice the cost to polluters.
  • The researchers discovered the NOx Budget Program, a cap-and-trade market for nitrogen oxides (NOx), significantly decreased emissions of NOx air pollution, and consequently high-ozone days, by 40 percent.
  • The cap-and-trade market decreased the use of medications, saving people $800 million per year, and reduced premature mortality, valued at about $1.3 billion a year. The elderly disproportionately benefited.
  • Overall, the study found that the benefits from reducing 1 million tons of NOx are about $2.6 billion. The research additionally points to substantial benefits from reducing ground-level ozone pollution.
  • More broadly, the study has produced the first large scale evidence on the relationship between medications or so-called ‘defensive expenditures’ and pollution. This finding opens up a new category of benefits from pollution reductions generally and therefore has important implications for determining the stringency of environmental regulations.
Areas of Focus: Climate Economics
Definition
Climate Economics
Climate change will affect every sector of the economy, both locally and globally. EPIC research is quantifying these effects to help guide policymakers, businesses, and individuals working to mitigate and...
Climate Science
Definition
Climate Science
EPIC’s interdisciplinary team of researchers is contributing to a cross-cutting body of knowledge on the scientific causes of climate change and its social consequences.
Environment
Definition
Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
Definition
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...