Industrial Ecology – Reflexions

In 2003, I moved to Trondheim to become Director of the Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). In […]

Carbon pricing improves economics of energy

The Economics of Energy – What is the cost-effectiveness of energy and climate policies? 

In a panel debate with key European policy makers hosted by GE and organized by ScienceBusiness; I emphasized the need to more systematically internalize environmental costs, which we have enumerated in recent scientific work.

The social and economic benefits of modern energy are tremendous. While two billion people still lack access to clean cooking […]

We can reach 2°C if we *replace* polluting technology

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that hope is not forsaken: rigorous climate politics locally and nationally has spurred development of new technology sooner than expected. Increased pressure in the pursuit of climate protection is still required to reach the 2°C Target.

Carbon Budget: Trillion tons of CO2

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the climate climate system launched last year has a clear message: […]

  • Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté

    Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté

Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté

The tragic extinction of species, from the black rhinoceros to plants remaining undiscovered, is unfortunately one of the hallmarks of humans on the planet. This week, the Trondheim Conference of Biodiversity celebrated its 20 year anniversary by gathering 400 scientists and international negotiators to an exchange of knowledge and ideas. The focus of this conference was on the economy and options for […]

  • Germany: Solar influence on climate in public spotlight Germany: Solar influence on climate in public spotlight

    Germany: Solar influence on climate in public spotlight

Germany: Solar influence on climate in public spotlight

Surprisingly, a book co-written by a well-known former German environmental activist presents a strong revisionist story and is able to capture both headlines and spot on the best-seller list. I read the book  “The cold sun: why the climate catastrophe is not happen” by Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning (VL) for a coherent revisionist argument.

The book was written with strong conviction and a very pervasive style. It is richly illustrated with charts displaying the […]

Unsustainable Developments

It seems like we right now are running hard from facing the truths and some associated pain, and that in at least two instances that are striking for their similarities: the global financial crisis and climate change. Let me begin with the financial crisis. The main problem of the financial crisis is that levels of debt have become too large and cannot be repaid by the original debtors. Lenders and many politicians are now […]

Recognition for the Carbon Footprint

NATURE recently recognized the work presented in this web page, and more specifically the Carbon Footprint of Nations paper. In the category ‘Community choice – the most viewed papers in science’, the paper was reviewed under the title Where greenhouse gases start. At the same time, we got word that the Resource Panel Report Priority Products and Materials – which triggered the work presented here – has been downloaded over half a […]

UN Resource Panel highlights food and fossil fuel as global problems

It was my big day in Brussels: The deputy director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Angela Kropper, and the EU’s Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik, were there for the launch of our report, The Environmental Impact of Production and Consumption: Priority Products and Materials. It was the request for the report that prompted me to work on the Carbon Footprint of Nations. The report was written by a working […]

Carbon footprint calculation methods matter for policy

Recently, the idea of monitoring the carbon footprint of a nation as one option for climate policy has found its way into the legislative process in the UK. A Private Members Bill has been put forward in the House of Lords – the Bill seeks to put in place a consumer emissions target (the current UK Climate Change Act which sets an 80% reduction target only addresses production, i.e. territorial, emissions). Lord Teverson […]

Top Environmental Policy Paper

The Carbon Footprint of Nations has been recognized as the Top Environmental Policy Paper in 2009 by Environmental Science & Technology (announcement).

It is a big honor for us to win that award. ES&T is the most important journal in environmental science and environmental technology, publishing 1500 papers in 2009. We were apparently among 80 papers nominated for the award. Most likely, the popular appeal and policy relevance of our paper was an important factor in our […]