our book

How Much is Clean Air Worth offers readers a comprehensive overview of the core methodologies and tools used to quantify the impacts and damage costs of pollution. The book begins by reviewing the tools used for environmental assessments and shows that a rational approach requires an impact pathway analysis (IPA) for each of the possible impacts of a pollutant, i.e. an analysis of the chain Emission -> Dispersion -> Exposure-response functions -> monetary valuation. The IPA methodology is explained in full and illustrated with worked examples, and difficulties are discussed and uncertainties analysed. In addition to detailed computer models, a very simple model (the “Uniform World Model”) is presented, enabling readers to make estimates for cases where no results are available. Published results for electricity, waste treatment and transport are reviewed, with a thorough discussion of policy implications. This book will appeal to a broad mix of academics, graduate students and practitioners in government and industry working on cost-benefit analysis, environmental impact analysis and environmental policy. 

A set of homework problems, term paper topics and discussion questions is available from the authors. 

The book has been published by Cambridge University Press (July 2014).

You can download Preface and Introduction


Ari Rabl obtained his PhD in physics at Berkeley and worked for many years as research scientist for energy technologies at Argonne, NREL and Princeton University. Then he moved to the Ecole des Mines de Paris as Senior Scientist at the Centre Energétique et Procédés until his retirement in 2007, and now continues to work as a consultant. For the last 20 years, his work has focused on environmental impacts and costs of pollution. He is one of the principal participants of the ExternE Project series (External Costs of Energy) of the European Commission DG Research, for which he has coordinated several research projects. 

Joseph V. Spadaro is Research Professor at the Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao, Spain. He has worked on energy analysis in the residential and commercial building sectors and on the assessment of environmental impacts and damage costs of electricity, waste management and transport. He has been a member of the core team of principal investigators in the ExternE Project series (European Commission), and has acted as expert consultant in various projects supported by international organizations, national governments and private industry. 

Mike Holland is a freelance consultant, as Ecometrics Research and Consulting (EMRC) in the UK. He has worked on assessment of pollution effects on ecosystems and health since 1986, and he has performed a large number of cost-benefit analyses for national government and the European Commission, particularly in relation to measures to improve air quality.  He is currently the chair of NEBEI (Network of Experts on Benefits and Economic Instruments) under the UNECE Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution.