Policy relevance in 2015

The Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model developed by the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has been accepted as the first scientific tool to be used for shared analysis by the three European institutions: European Commission, Parliament, and Council. It has informed their negotiations on the EU Clean Air Policy Package.

Adapted from: © 3dmask | Dreamstime

Adapted from: © 3dmask | Dreamstime

The GAINS toolbox served as the analytical backbone for the development of the EU Clean Air Policy Package, which is currently being negotiated between the European Commission, the Parliament, and the Council. The proposed package is based on a series of 16 reports prepared by MAG, informing stakeholders on the likely future development of emissions, the scope for further reductions of emissions in the various economic sectors, and the benefits from such additional measures.

The package includes national emissions ceilings for 2030 for all member states for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and methane. These ceilings were determined by the GAINS model to be the most cost-effective way to reduce health impacts from fine particulate matter by more than 50% compared to 2005.

On the basis of scientific evidence from MAG on the double role of methane as a climate gas and a precursor for ground-level ozone, the European Commission is also proposing national emission ceilings for methane for the first time as a part of an air quality policy package.

In addition, GAINS calculations on non-CO2 greenhouse gases and air quality co-benefits were used by the European Commission for their recent climate policy proposals.

Outside Europe, the World Bank has adopted the GAINS co-benefits systems approach in its Pollution Management and Environmental Health program to enhance local capacity for comprehensive air quality management in large urban agglomerations in developing countries. These include the Jing-Jin-Ji area around Beijing in China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Cairo, Egypt; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Delhi, India.

Furthermore, MAG contributed to the work of the Arctic Council on short-lived climate pollutants, and continues its affiliation with the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution by hosting the "European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme Centre for Integrated Assessment Modelling."


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Last edited: 02 March 2016

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Markus Amann

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Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

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