The way eco-costs of emissions are determined

General concept of marginal prevention costs

An overview of the basic calculation the eco-costs by means of LCA is provided at the webpage on the concept of the eco-costs.
This webpage gives more information on how the multipiers from midpoints to endpoints (the marginal prevention costs) have been derived.

The eco-costs are the marginal prevention costs of toxic emissions which is derived from the so called prevention curve as depicted in the adjacent picture Fig. 2.2a. The basic idea behind such a curve is that a country (or a group of countries, such as the European Union), must take prevention measures to reduce toxic emissions (more than one measure is required to reach the target). From the point of view of the economy, the cheapest measures (in terms of euro/kg) are taken first. At a certain point at the curve, the reduction of the emissions

Figure 2.2a. The concept of marginal prevention costs.

is sufficient to bring the concentration of the pollution below the so-called negligible-risk-level or ‘no-observed-adverse-effect level’. The negligible-risk-level of CO2 emissions is the level that the emissions and the natural absorption of the earth are in equilibrium again at a maximum temperature rise of 2 degrees C. 

The negligible-risk-level of a toxic emission is the level where the concentration in nature is far below the toxicity threshold, or below the background level. The negligible-risk-level is a factor 10-100 lower than the Maximum Allowable Risk Level (MAR, or Threshold Limit Value, which is applied to indoor working conditions), The MAR is the level of less than 1 fatal illness per million people, or more than 95% surviving plants in nature. The negligible-risk-level is never lower than the natural background concentration. The factor 10-100 has been introduced to be safe side with respect to the risk of