Developing an Air Pollutant Emissions Database for Global Economic Analysis

Maksym Chepeliev


According to the Global Burden of Disease study (Cohen et al., 2017), in 2015 ambient air pollutant emissions caused 4.2 million deaths and a loss of 103.1 million disability-adjusted life-years, making it the fifth-ranked global risk factor. In terms of the welfare costs of mortality and illnesses associated with outdoor air pollutant emissions, global estimates for 2015 range between $2.7-3.2 trillion (Coady et al., 2015; OECD, 2016). Still, while greenhouse gas emissions are usually well represented in many global economic databases and models, air pollutant emission accounts in most cases are not included. In particular, this is the case for the widely used Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) Data Base and model. In this paper we describe the methodology used to produce a global air pollutant emissions dataset consistent with the GTAP Data Base version 10A. In addition to the non-land use sources, emissions from land use activities are estimated by land cover type, based on the volume of burned biomass and emission factors. The emissions database can be readily incorporated in GTAP-based computable general equilibrium models, enabling assessments of a wide range of policy questions, including the health co-benefits from climate mitigation policies. We illustrate an application of the air pollutant emissions database by tracking changes in primary PM2.5 emissions embodied in trade between 2004 and 2014.


Air pollutant emissions; Primary PM2.5; Computable general equilibrium; Multi-regional input-output; Global Trade Analysis Project

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