Air quality and human welfare
Norwegian Institute for Air Research, PO Box 100, 2027 Kjeller, Norway
2 Faculty of Chemistry, Gdansk University of Technology, 11/12 G. Narutowicza Street, 80-952 Gdansk, Poland
Human welfare is generally referring to allocation of resources to fit the well being of humans. If high standard of well-being is to be maintained, the concerns for a healthy environment must be balanced against requirements of economic growth. In a natural capital system, human welfare is best served by improving the quality and flow of desired services delivered rather than merely increasing the total money flow. An ecosystem based management of living and natural resource use will steer this progress to the best of human welfare while the efficiency of ecosystem based management depends strongly on the availability of integrated assessment tools that will combine environmental models and monitoring data with ecological economic valuation methods. In applied welfare economics, the methodological approach to assess resource allocations towards societal optimality and thereby establish criteria for government intervention is often linked to tools as Cost-ffectiveness Analysis (CEA), Cost-Benefit Assessment (CBA) or Multi-criteria Analysis (MCA). By illustrating an assessment on costs and benefits of the implementation of Hg emission reduction measures in the coal sector, it becomes obvious that for a full analysis of societal costs and benefits, several aspects of Hg pollution, sources, impacts and co-benefits need to be considered.
© EDP Sciences, 2009