Document Type: Research Paper
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Health Management and System Sciences, School of Public Health and Information Sciences, University of Louisville, 485 E. Gray St., Room 115, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, USA.
Preventive Medicine and Public Health Research Center & Department of Community and Family Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Research Center for Environmental Health Technology & Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.
Research Center for Addiction and Risky Behaviors (ReCARB), Psychosocial Health Research Institute (PHRI), Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Science Tehran, Iran.
Cheap fossil energy leads to overconsumption of energy and hazardous levels of air pollution. In this study, we provide a framework to connect fossil energy price policy to private consumption of energy and outdoor air pollution. We used a consumer demand system and reassessed it for the recent status of the Iranian economy. We extracted household consumption information from Iran’s 2011 and 2014−2016 annual household surveys (n=154683), prices from the Central Bank of Iran’s detailed monthly price indices from 2008 to 2016, and air pollution information from Iran’s Energy Balance Sheets. We estimated that an average Iranian household would reduce its energy consumption by 2%, 16%, 29%, 38%, and 45% if energy prices were hiked by 10%, 50%, 100%, 150%, and 200%, respectively. The corresponding reductions in total outdoor air pollution in the post-hike period would be 2.6, 26.3, 47.6, 62.9, and 74.5 million tons, respectively. Besides highlighting the importance of fossil energy price policy as a short-term strategy to reduce air pollution, this study calls attention to shifting the existing subsidies on fossil fuels to sustainable sources of energy such as waste-oriented biofuels as a -long-term solution.
- Fossil Energy price subsidy encourages overconsumption and elevates air pollution.
- A 100% energy price hike leads to a 29% decrease in household energy consumption.
- A 100% energy price hike leads to a 62.9 million ton reduction in air pollutants.
- A 200% energy price hike leads to a 45% decrease in household energy consumption.
- A 200% energy price hike leads to a 74.5 million ton reduction in air pollutants.