Air Quality and Climate Change as Integrated Policy

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An integrated approach to tackling air quality and climate change makes sound sense. The topics of air quality and climate change are interrelated, so policies surrounding the two problems should be addressed using an integrated approach. The emissions that pollute our air and those that warm the planet have common sources: vehicles, buildings, power generation and industry. These pollutants and activities that affect the air we breathe also have a significant impact on the climate change the earth is experiencing. Integrating air pollution control and climate change policies helps to achieve sustainable development and a low carbon society that benefit all. Many benefits are realized through integrating approaches and policies to air quality and climate change. One benefit of integrated policies is that the price to implement the policies is more cost effective. “Integrating climate and air pollution control programs leads to significant cost savings and important benefits to human health and the environment” (Kuylenstierna and Hicks, 2008). Also, climate policies and decisions are felt in the future while policies improving air quality are felt in the here and now. Also, an integrated policy would avoid unintentional trade-offs. That is “when policy is introduced to benefit one area without consideration of how it will affect the other; in these cases, negative impacts felt by one area may outweigh the actual benefits that the policy was designed to bring” (Environmental Protection UK, 2011). Another benefit of integration is the ability to prioritize actions and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the action for each problem. There will be obstacles to realizing an integrative approach to air quality and climate change. Political obstacles can include lobbyist and interest groups that hold significant influence in the political arena. If proposed actions increase costs to manufacture or produce energy, the interest groups and the lobbyists...
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