Carbon Market Promises and Woes

Economists argue that the carbon market suffices to reduce  greenhouse gas emissions and attack additional policy tools for  increasing mitigation costs. Time to look at how the carbon market works  in practice! In my last blog I have pointed to the campaign of a few Norwegian economists [http://e24.no/makro-og-politikk/article3315038.ece]against  climate policy tools such as the newly established green certificate  market, which ensures a higher electricity price for renewable  electricity. I [...]

October 18, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Hurra for Green Electricity!

Some economists argue that support for renewable electricity  leads to more coal power. Their reasoning is curiously flawed and  oversees the crucial role of technological learning. A curious discussion about climate policy has arisen in Norway now that the country has agreed with Sweden to join Sweden’s  ”green certificate [http://www.eoearth.org/article/Green_certificate]” market (a.k.a. el-certificate, similar to the renewable portopholio standard [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_port [...]

September 13, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Can Technology Spare the Earth?

The IPCC says that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by  at least 80 % by 2050 to achieve the goal of limit global warming to not  more than 2°C, agreed to by the EU and the G8. Recent research [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7242/abs/nature08017.html] indicates  that the cumulative emissions in the period 2000-2050 should be not  more than 1000 billion tons of CO2. In the first 7 years of this 50 year  period; 234 billion tons were already emitted. Even if we give up the   [...]

August 27, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

What does the Carbon Footprint mean?

Many people have asked how a country’s carbon footprint  compares to the territorial emissions reported to the United Nations  Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)? In hindsight, it was perhaps remiss of us not to include this data in the paper. However, it was not our motivation. Focusing on whether the emissions are bigger or smaller misses a  large part of the story. The main focus of the paper is on what  consumption categories cause emissions and how this varies across  countri [...]

August 13, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

News Stories on Carbon Footprint of Nations

A good week has gone since the release of the website and the online version of our article [http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es803496a]. A number of news outlets picked up the story, including the venerable Neue Züricher Zeitung [http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/forschung_und_technik/der_klimatische_fussabdruck_des_konsums_1.2755249.html] (Switzerland)  and the tabloid VG (Norway). It was really interesting to discuss our  research with numerous journalists and to see what they picked up. Her [...]

June 24, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

The importance of national carbon footprint accounting

Congratulations to Edgar Hertwich, Glen Peters and the  NTNU team for presenting the ‘Carbon Footprint of Nations’ as a  politically relevant way of accounting for greenhouse gas emissions,  based on a sound methodology. The publication and website comes at an important time – the decisive  climate policy negotiations in Copenhagen are only half a year away –  and it will be a useful input to this process. For both, producers and  consumers, as individuals, companies and nations are responsible [...]

June 15, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Welcome to the Carbon Footprint site!

We are excited about launching this web site. Many years  of our research have gone into developing models and analyzing data on  the connection of industrial production, consumption and environmental  pressures. Profound insights have been gained, and an approach has matured which  we think is indispensible to address climate change and resource  scarcity. Now, we feel that the world really should pay attention! We  want to use this website to communicate our research findings to a  broader pu [...]

June 12, 2009, by Edgar HertwichRead More