Screen capture of the COBRA website

CO-Benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) Health Impacts Screening and Mapping Tool

State and local governments can use this tool to estimate the health and economic benefits of clean energy policies.

This tool helps state and local governments:

  • Explore how changes in air pollution from clean energy policies and programs, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, can affect human health at the county, state, regional, or national levels.
  • Estimate the economic value of the health benefits associated with clean energy policies and programs to compare against program costs.
  • Map and visually represent the air quality, human health, and health-related economic benefits from reductions in emissions of particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), ammonia (NH3), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that result from clean energy policies and programs.

Populated with detailed estimates of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, and volatile organic compound (PM2.5, SO2, NOX, NH3, and VOC) emissions for the years 2017 and 2025, COBRA allows users to create their own emissions scenarios (increasing or decreasing baseline estimates) at the national, state, or county level. Users can also estimate the specific health impacts, such as changes in mortality or asthma attacks, that are likely to occur. Outputs include exportable data in tabular or graphic form as well as map visuals.

Intended for analysts, environmental agencies, energy officials, and transportation planners, this tool seeks to help users understand the health benefits of clean energy policies and estimate the actual emission changes that could result. Outcomes are monetized, allowing users to perform simple cost/benefit analysis for their region. Not intended for high resolution planning, this tool shows current data estimates at the county level or broader.

Users can operate a web-based version of the tool in their browser, or download the software. The downloaded software requires a Microsoft Windows® operating system.

Intermediate-level users can expect to put a moderate amount of effort into this tool.

Last modified
8 June 2021 - 1:08pm