Air quality and climate impacts due to CNG conversion of motor vehicles in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Abstract

Dhaka had recently experienced rapid conversion of its motor vehicle fleet to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). This paper quantifies ex-post the air quality and climate benefits of the CNG conversion policy, including monetary valuations, through an impact pathway approach. Around 2045 (1665) avoided premature deaths in greater Dhaka (City Corporation) can be attributed to air quality improvements from the CNG conversion policy in 2010, resulting in a saving of around USD 400 million. Majority of these health benefits resulted from the conversion of high-emitting diesel vehicles. CNG conversion was clearly detrimental from climate change perspective using the changes in CO2 and CH4 only (CH4 emissions increased); however, after considering other global pollutants (especially black carbon), the climate impact was ambiguous. Uncertainty assessment using input distributions and Monte Carlo simulation along with a sensitivity analysis show that large uncertainties remain for climate impacts. For our most likely estimate, there were some climate costs, valued at USD 17.7 million, which is an order of magnitude smaller than the air quality benefits. This indicates that such policies can and should be undertaken on the grounds of improving local air pollution alone and that precautions should be taken to reduce the potentially unintended increases in GHG emissions or other unintended effects.

Author

Wadud, Z. Khan, T.

Journal

Environmental Science & Technology, 2013

Keywords

Air Pollutants/analysis/economics, Air Pollution/*analysis/economics, Bangladesh, Carbon Dioxide/ana

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24195736