The assessment of the climate effects will estimate the potential reductions in GHG emissions for both climate mitigation focal areas. Where appropriate we will test the climate and health effect of different options.

The assessment of the health effects for both areas will provide “disability adjusted life years” [DALYs] as well as its two components “Years of healthy Life Lost due to premature mortality” (YLL) and “Years of healthy Life lost due to Disability” (YLD). This should allow to narrow major uncertainties of DALYs down to the causing differences in estimation methods for YLD. Furthermore this assessment will generate data on treatments that can be avoided (e.g. in-patient days and out-patient care) and related costs in preparation for the economic assessment.

fig 1

Figure: Changes in urban mobility and diet alter health and climate effects
via the sketched impact chain.

The overall effects as shown above are used for the economic assessment of the question to what extent costs of climate mitigation measures of the two focal areas could be offset by costs saved via health (e.g. treatment costs) and climate co-benefits (e.g. saved costs for the acquisition of emission certificates). With other words we will assess the net cost effects for the public budget. In addition potential macroeconomic knock on effects (e.g. non-productive time) will be estimated.

Finally the project aims for an integrated assessment that summarizes climate, health and economic effects in both quantitative and qualitative terms. This summary considers interrelations between the different effects, provides guiding principles for implementation and explicitly expresses the uncertainty of the results presented. Additionally further sustainability issues (e.g. biodiversity or social injustices) will be addressed in a qualitative manner.

All assessments will be done for a baseline and an alternative option (including variants) for Austria for the same single year (most likely 2010). With this counterfactual thinking approach we consider long-term effects and effects within and outside of Austria separately.

Research design and work packages

fig 2

Figure: Work packages and their interrelations to assess overall co-benefits

The research starts with the establishment of a baseline and the definition of the envisaged measures for changes in urban mobility and diet. Then in parallel climate effects and health effects will be investigated followed by an economic assessment. Finally overall effects (co-benefits) will be summarised by an integrated assessment. The research will be accompanied by international scientific advice and advice by policy experts from the Austrian Federal Ministries of Environment, Traffic and Health.