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Effects of Air-Pollution Control on Death Rates in Sweden: an Intervention Study

The Carbon Tax is one of the main climate change policies aimed to reduce the CO2 emissions. Policies aimed to contain CO2 emissions, by limiting the burning of fossil fuels, also decrease emissions of other greenhouse gases (GHGs), e.g. SO2, NO2, PM10 and SO4, avoiding changes in temperatures and damaging effects on human health.
Sweden has been one of the first countries in the world to introduce Carbon Taxes on the 1st January 1991 levied on oil, coal, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas, petrol and aviation fuel in domestic traffic. An evaluation study of the Swedish Carbon Tax carried out by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency concludes that the CO2 tax ‘‘[…] has helped to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide in line with Swedish environmental policy’’.
The review of part of the existing literature on epidemiological studies confirms that pollution and increased mortality have been associated in many different parts of the world. Nevertheless, there is still a great uncertainty about the methodological reliability of these studies as few performed panel data analysis and/or investigated the role played by the environmental policy legislation.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a climate change mitigation policy, i.e. the carbon tax, has contributed to reduce the death rate through a reduction in the level of air pollutants in five Swedish counties over the period 1985-2000.
A monthly panel data set was used to analyse the effects of four pollutants (NO2, SO2, SO4, O3) on death rates caused by cardiovascular and respiratory problems by gender. Each model was adjusted for seasonality. Moreover, a structural change analysis estimated the efficacy of the Carbon Tax.
Most of the results obtained were consistent with the literature as NO2, SO2, SO4 and O3 were found to have a significant and adverse impact on human health. In particular, SO2 resulted to be responsible for both cardiovascular and respiratory deaths especially in the colder months when the concentration levels were at their highest.
Moreover, the implementation of the Carbon Tax was shown to have contributed to a reduction in death rates. In particular, reductions in SO2 resulted to have a significant impact in limiting the number of deaths for cardiovascular male disease. SO4 had the same effects on cardiovascular female and respiratory female mortality.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
Introduction The literature concerning the assessment of air pollution on human health is large and in continuous development. In the last few decades, a significant increase in mortality and morbidity from respiratory and cardiovascular disease was recognised by the scientific community to be partly caused by excess ambient pollution levels. Although the health effects of pollution have been experienced since the 13 th century with the use of coal and wood, only recently (mid 1900) the scientific community tried to quantify and assess the human health costs. The issue of how much pollution is socially acceptable is of extreme importance for policy makers to establish the minimum standard aims to safeguard human, animal and plant survival. Sweden, among the European countries, put a lot of effort toward a more sustainable economic development which was translated in numerous environmental policies. Economic instruments in environmental policy have been introduced since 1970. Large subsidies were given to firm and local government to facilitate and speed up environmental protection measures [10]. Nevertheless, major actions were taken in 1991, when the Parliament accepted some of the proposals from the Commission of Environmental Charges. The tax on CO 2 was introduced on the 1 st January 1991 levied on oil, coal, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas, petrol and aviation fuel in domestic traffic. At the same time a tax on SO 2 has been set to reduce the emissions by 80% using 1980 as the baseline. Moreover, the year after, 1992, an additional charge on NO x emissions was introduced in order to reduce the emissions by 30% using 1985 as base year [10]. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the carbon tax has contributed to reduce the death rate through a reduction in the level of air pollutants. The work has been structured as follows: the first chapter introduce the economical and historical sensu of carbon tax policy in the European- Swedish context and a review of the literature. In chapter two, details of data collection and transformation are explained and the chapter three contains a description of the methodology applied. Finally, chapter four reports and discuss the main findings of this study from the descriptive and econometric analysis and chapter five concludes. 2

Tesi di Master

Autore: Claudia Cusinello Contatta »

Composta da 78 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 334 click dal 05/01/2007.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.