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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Second Copenhagen Consensus: Air Pollution Assessment, Larsen Hutton Kkanna

Assessment Paper

An Assessment Paper on Air Pollution was prepared for the second Copenhagen Consensus by Bjorn Larsen, Guy Hutton, Neha Kkanna.The working paper used by the Expert Panel is available for download here, the finalized paper has been published in Global Crises, Global Solutions: Costs and Benefits from Cambridge University Press.

Short Summary

Air pollution causes 2.5 million deaths each year, the vast majority in the developing world. Improving both indoor and outdoor air quality - in particularly moving away from indoor cooking fires - would be a cost-effective way to improve quality of life.

While there are many options available for reducing exposure to indoor air pollution, there is limited evidence on their effectiveness in real-life conditions for modeling the cost-benefit of these options. These include behavioral dimensions such as location of cooking area (indoor vs. outdoor; separate indoor area) and location of young children in relation to cooking area (carrying babies while cooking; playing near cooking area).