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 t [...]

June 11, 2017, by Edgar HertwichRead More

How to force down the US climate impact

While Donald Trump withdraws the US from the Paris climate agreement, the world has tools to reduce the US carbon footprint As the world is in shock about Donald Trump’s erratic but not  unexpected decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate  accord, reactions range from the denial [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/01/the-us-tried-to-derail-climate-action-before-and-it-ended-in-humiliating-defeat?CMP=share_btn_tw] of the momentous consequences of this decision [...]

June 02, 2017, by Edgar HertwichRead More

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

Edgar Hertwich [https://theconversation.com/profiles/edgar-hertwich-210836], Yale University [http://theconversation.com/institutions/yale-university-1326]; Anders Arvesen [https://theconversation.com/profiles/anders-arvesen-342635], Norwegian University of Science and Technology [http://theconversation.com/institutions/norwegian-university-of-science-and-technology-715] ; Sangwon Suh [https://theconversation.com/profiles/sangwon-suh-342636], University of California, Santa Barbara [http://t [...]

March 21, 2017, by Edgar HertwichRead More

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 [http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12532]. The picture that emerges is interesting because of some small surprises. S [...]

January 11, 2017, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Alternative climate theory in shatters

An alternative theory for climate change based on the influence of cosmic radiation lead to prominent predictions of an imminent cooling of global temperatures. Three years after the book by Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning [http://www.kaltesonne.de/] was a bestseller in Germany [http://www.kaltesonne.de/die-kalte-sonne-auf-der-spiegel-bestseller-liste/] and translated into English [http://www.amazon.com/The-Neglected-Sun-Catastrophe-Independent/dp/1909022241], its predictions – popular wi [...]

January 27, 2016, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Industrial Ecology – Reflexions

The entire team of PhD students, PostDocs and professors on the steps of the main building, 17 October 2014 In 2003, I moved to Trondheim to become Director of the Industrial Ecology Programme [http://www.ntnu.edu/indecol/] (IndEcol) of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). In 2015, I have moved on [https://environment.yale.edu/news/article/edgar-hertwich-global-leader-in-industrial-ecology-joins-fes-faculty/] to head the Center for Industrial Ecology [http://cie.research. [...]

September 04, 2015, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Carbon pricing improves economics of energy

The Economics of Energy – What is the cost-effectiveness of energy and climate policies? In a panel debate [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcL4WTeGmPo] 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 fuels [...]

January 21, 2015, by Edgar HertwichRead More

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

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [http://www.ipcc.ch] 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: emittin [...]

November 15, 2014, by Edgar HertwichRead More

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 [http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1312753111] shows. By Edgar Hertwich [http://carbonfootprintofnations.com/author/edgar-hertwich/], Thomas Gibon [http://www.ntnu.edu/employees/thomas.gibon] and Anders Arvesen [http://www.ntnu.edu/employees/anders.arvesen], NTNU The use of fossil energy sources has made it po [...]

October 14, 2014, by Edgar HertwichRead More

What’s new in the IPCC report

After 4 years of intensive work, the fifth assessment report of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [http://mitigation2014.org/]has  finally been published. It says that it is urgent to begin reducing  emissions, otherwise we will not be able to stay below the articulated  limit of two degree temperature rise. Sure, but that was already the  main message of the fourth asssessment report in 2007. Having  contributed to this report as a lead author of the energy [...]

April 13, 2014, by Edgar HertwichRead More