Recognition for the Carbon Footprint

NATURE recently recognized the work presented in this web page, and more specifically the Carbon Footprint of Nations paper [http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es803496a]. In the category ‘Community choice – the most viewed papers in science’, the paper was reviewed under the title Where greenhouse gases start [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7316/pdf/467637e.pdf]. At the same time, we got word that the Resource Panel Report Priority Products and Materials [http://www.unep.fr/scp/rpa [...]

December 13, 2010, by Edgar HertwichRead More

The Carbon Footprint of Municipalities

A consumption-based account of greenhouse gas emissions reveals true climate impacts of public services. Analysis based on the environmental impacts of consumption often  focuses on household consumption. Some consumption, however, is provided  by public authorities and paid for through taxes, not prices.  Education, health care, elderly care, street cleaning and – important  for Norway! – snow plowing are examples for that. What are the  environmental impacts of these activities. In a series o [...]

December 13, 2010, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Contributing to the IPCC

I have the great honor to be selected to serve on the IPCC as  lead author of the fifth assessment report. It has always been my desire  to contribute to addressing environmental problems. Climate Science is  fascinating – the ways scientists have found to tease out evidence about  past climate are amazing. It is scary to see how the various pieces of  the puzzle – not all of them yet found or correctly placed – provide an  increasingly complete and compelling picture that – in rich and  unfores [...]

July 13, 2010, by Edgar HertwichRead More

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 [http://www.unep.org/documents.multilingual/default.asp?DocumentID=43&ArticleID=5457&l=en] , and the EU’s Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik [http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/657&format=HTML&aged=0&language=DE&guiLanguage=en] , were there for the launch of our report, The Environmental Impact of Production and Consumption: Priority Products and [...]

June 30, 2010, by Edgar HertwichRead More

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 [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldbills/013/10013.1-i.html] 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). Lo [...]

April 09, 2010, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Carbon Footprint – Updated

A recent update of our study on the carbon footprint of nations highlights the role of China, Russia, the USA and the EU. Steven Davis and Ken Caldeira [http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/23/0906974107.abstract?maxtoshow=&hits=1&RESULTFORMAT=&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&fulltext=Sustainability+Science&andorexactfulltext=phrase&searchid=1&usestrictdates=yes&resourcetype=HWCIT&ct] have  just published an analysis of the carbon footprint of nations using the  GTAP 7 database [...]

March 11, 2010, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Top Environmental Policy Paper

The Carbon Footprint of Nations has been recognized as the Top Environmental Policy Paper [http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es100414j] in 2009 by Environmental Science & Technology (announcement [http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es100678t]). 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 po [...]

March 11, 2010, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Sharing the atmosphere

The Climate Conference in Copenhagen [http://en.cop15.dk/] has  ended as expected: with a political declaration instead of a legally  binding agreement. Nonetheless, there seems to be wide-spread  disappointment among the public. Commentators are busy portioning out  blame for the failure [http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/18/copenhagen-deal] of the negotiations, where the U.S. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/21/copenhagen-failure-us-senate-vested-interests] , Chin [...]

December 28, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Exported Emissions at COP15

The Guardian and industry actors call for considering Carbon Embodied in Trade as part of a climate deal at Copenhagen. On December 7, 2009, 56 newspapers from 20 countries [http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/06/copenhagen-editorial] published  a joint editorial calling world leaders to use the 14 days of climate  negotiations in Copenhagen in order to come to an effective and fair  agreement to limit climate change. At the time I am writing this, it is too early to see whether [...]

December 14, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

The Environmental Footprint of Biofuels

A new UN report emphasizes the importance of addressing land use, water, and biodiversity impacts of biofuels. The jury is now in on biofuels: Current government mandates in the  United States, Europe and other countries to blend biofuels into  ordinary car fuels cause substantial environmental damage, do little to  reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and have a questionable contribution to  energy security. A new UN report [http://www.unep.fr/scp/rpanel/publications/]and a new book [http://www.spr [...]

November 15, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More