Energy efficiency offers win-win for climate, health, and ecosystems

A potential increase in metal consumption emerges as only concern in a broad-based investigation of the clean-energy transition The history of environmental protection is full of unforeseen consequences: taller chimneys only led to pollutants spreading wide and far, and safe refrigerants replacing hydrocarbons turned out to damage the ozone hole. How can we ensure that technologies we employ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions do not give rise to the next generation of problems? Protecting the [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:06+00:00 June 11th, 2017|New Research|0 Comments

Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

Edgar Hertwich, Yale University; Anders Arvesen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Sangwon Suh, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Thomas Gibon, Norwegian University of Science and Technology There are a number of available low-carbon technologies to generate electricity. But are they really better than fossil fuels and nuclear power? To answer that question, one needs to compare not just the emissions of different power sources but also the health benefits and the threats to [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:07+00:00 March 21st, 2017|New Research|0 Comments

The Carbon Footprint of Capital

We think of capital, the assets we use in production, as heavy: machines, buildings, infrastructure, trucks and railroads. Being composed mostly of cement and steel, we would expect their production to cause a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. In a new paper, we offer a first detailed analysis of the carbon footprint of gross fixed capital formation across countries and sectors. The picture that emerges is interesting because of some small surprises. Share of [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:07+00:00 January 11th, 2017|New Research|0 Comments

Breathe easier with renewable energy

If we want to limit air pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting unmet demand in developing countries, renewable electricity is a promising option, as our new research shows. By Edgar Hertwich, Thomas Gibon and Anders Arvesen, NTNU The use of fossil energy sources has made it possible for cities, population and prosperity to grow. It has also led to the pollution of air, water and soil. The main product of the combustion of [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:07+00:00 October 14th, 2014|New Research|0 Comments

Carbon footprint of hydro power

I took a deep breath after a brisk climb up the soft hill near the border to Sweden. The sun peaked out under the clouds and the light was beautifully reflected by the water of Nesjøen, while reindeer was munching away on delicious blueberries a little further down the ridge. The reservoir below contrasted to the barren land on the other side, making it more tranquil and interesting at the same time. No wonder that [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:07+00:00 September 17th, 2013|New Research|2 Comments

Rich Pressure Poor Ecosystems

I just returned from my weekly trip to the supermarket: in addition to Kenyan roses, Brazilian melons, Israeli oranges, Dutch tomatoes, Kiwis from New Zealand, and potatoes from Saudi Arabia (!), I have, for the first time, found minced beef from Botswana, sold for just over half the price of the Norwegian one. We have over the years become accustomed to the increasing variety and prettiness of food we find on supermarket shelves, regardless of [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:08+00:00 March 11th, 2013|New Research|0 Comments

Extinction footprints

It is a sad result of human civilisation that we are driving other species into extinction. A new study highlights the main driving forces - rich countries' consumption. Humans have always affected their environment. Environmental history is littered with stories of modifications of the environment to enhance the growth of fruit-bearing plants and the impact of our hunting. In the Americas, the late arrival of humans resulted in an extinction of most large game - and their [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:08+00:00 June 13th, 2012|New Research|0 Comments

PC and TV purchases shape EEE carbon footprint

The rapid proliferation of electronic entertainment and communication equipment has eclipsed traditional household appliances like washing machines and refrigerators as the equipment with the highest residential carbon footprint; apart from heating, hot water and lighting. The Norwegian state broadcaster sent a wonderful story on our new study: a home electronics seller is interviewed, listing the number of TVs his customers have in a household: in the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom and each of the kids rooms. [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:08+00:00 November 4th, 2011|New Research|0 Comments

Carbon Footprint 1990-2008

We present now a time series of carbon footprints in the Ranking tab. Our data lets you trace the development of carbon footprints over the period 1990-2008. You need an Adope Flash player installed to see this. This data represents national CO2 emissions corrected for trade and shows that some countries that have had reductions of national emissions have nonetheless increased their carbon footprint, like the UK. You just need to click on the country and [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:08+00:00 October 28th, 2011|New Research|0 Comments

Emissions from consumption may offset reported carbon emission reductions in industrialized countries

An increasing share of global emissions is from the production of internationally traded goods and services, according to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Due to current reporting practices, this has allowed some countries to increase their carbon footprints while reporting stabilized emissions.   If you buy a sweater or a refrigerator, emissions from the production processes are allocated to the producing country. In the consuming country [...]

By | 2017-11-08T21:16:08+00:00 April 26th, 2011|New Research|0 Comments