Air pollution poses major disease burdens globally and accounts for approximately 10% of deaths annually through its contribution to a variety of respiratory, cardiovascular, and other diseases. The burden of disease is particularly acute in Saudi Arabia, where a mix of anthropogenic and natural sources of air pollution threatens public health. Addressing these burdens requires careful study of the costs and effectiveness of available technologies and policies for reducing emissions (mitigation) and avoiding exposure (adaptation). To help evaluate these options, we conduct a semi-systematic literature review of over 3,000 articles published since 2010 that were identified by searches of literature focused on pollution mitigation and pollution adaptation. We identify a wide variety of effective mitigation and adaptation technologies and find that cost-effectiveness information for policy design is highly variable in the case of mitigation, both within and across pollution source categories; or scarce, in the case of adaptation. While pollution control costs are well studied, policy costs differ; these may vary more by location because of factors such as technology operating conditions and behavioral responses to adaptation initiatives, limiting the generalizability of cost-effectiveness information. Moreover, potential cost advantages of multipollutant control policies are likely to depend on the existing mix of pollution sources and controls. While the policy literature generally favors more flexible compliance mechanisms that increase the cost of polluting to reflect its costs to society, important policy design factors include policy co-benefits, distributional concerns, and inter-regional harmonization. In addition to these key themes, we find that further study is needed both to improve the availability of cost information for adaptation interventions and to localize technology and policy cost estimates to the Saudi context.
Effective options for addressing air quality- related environmental public health burdens in Saudi Arabia
Woollacott, J., Alsufyani, W., Beach, R. H., T R Morrison, L., Bean de Hernández, A., Rakic, S., AlOmran, M., Alsukait, R. F., Herbst, C. H., & AlBalawi, S. (2022). Effective options for addressing air quality- related environmental public health burdens in Saudi Arabia. Heliyon, 8(9), [e10335]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e10335