An emergency beak for the climate

To limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, the EU’s Climate Advisors recommend that Europe cuts 90-95% of carbon emissions by 2040 compared to 1990. Fossil fuels should be phased out as quickly as possible. [...]

September 07, 2023, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Norway's biodiversity footprint is unknown

Edgar Hertwich argues that Øystein Sjølie's critique of a Sintef report on Norway's biodiversity footprints is partially correct and the footprints are unknown. [...]

July 12, 2023, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Green growth now

Summary: Concerned about economic growth, China and India weakened the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact. Our research suggests decarbonization and growth are independent processes. Delaying one to achieve the other is unnecessary and a wasteful detour. Nobody in the rich world can blame developing countries for wishing to improve their economic status. We began to industrialize and grow wealthy when we learned to use first coal and then oil to provide us with motive power.India has been widely blamed [...]

April 07, 2022, by Edgar HertwichRead More

How dematerialization could cut hard-to-abate emissions by a third, or more

The production of materials causes a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-021-00690-8]. Reducing the use of materials through a more intense utilization of products such as homes or cars, or the construction of lighter and smaller products, will also reduce the energy needed to provide services such as shelter and transportation. Dematerialization hence offers two mechanisms by which emissions can be reduced: the use of materials in production and t [...]

April 07, 2022, by Edgar Hertwich, Stefan PauliukRead More

Climate protection and development in the Global South

Nobody is as affected by the damaging forces of climate change as underdeveloped countries, but these countries face a paradox as they try to mitigate their CO2 emissions. Improving the lives of their citizens will increase the demand for energy and materials — which in turn will make climate change worse. It may seem like an insolvable problem. But the combination of clean energy, efficient energy use, and material efficiency can allow the Global South to develop while reducing greenhouse gas [...]

September 10, 2021, by Edgar Hertwich, Stefan PauliukRead More

EXIOBASE update: v3.8

We just released a new update for the EXIOBASE 3 MRIO time-series of monetary tables: v3.8. [...]

November 22, 2020, by Richard Wood, Konstantin StadlerRead More

Less material use = better climate

Material production accounts for close to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions [https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/n9ecw/], but receives little attention compared to energy, meat, or deforestation. In a new report for the International Resource Panel [https://www.resourcepanel.org/reports/resource-efficiency-and-climate-change], we show that reducing the use of emissions-intensive materials such as metals and cement in buildings and cars can lead to significant emission reductions. Savi [...]

November 18, 2020, by Edgar HertwichRead More


EXIOBASE 3 is the culmination of work in the FP7 DESIRE project (www.fp7desire.eu) and builds upon earlier work on EXIOBASE 2 in the FP7 CREEA projected (www.creea.eu) and the FP6 EXIOPOL project. The papers describing the work in EXIOBASE 3 are coming out at Journal of Industrial Ecology (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15309290) in June 2018. The database is available on www.exiobase.eu The data has aggregated energy and material accounts because of licensing issues with the IEA. See [...]

November 15, 2018, by Konstantin Stadler, Richard WoodRead More

Science Cannot Stop Global Warming

With current efforts or those committed to under the Paris agreement [https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/what-is-the-paris-agreement] , there is absolutely no chance that humanity will limit the warming of the Earth’s surface to an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/26/global-warming-climate-change-targets-un-report?CMP=share_btn_tw] . This finding emerges from a special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [...]

October 07, 2018, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Metals use tied to economic upswings

Will more expensive metals impede economic growth in the US? As the US government justifies new tariffs  on steel and aluminum imports with their military importance, the role  of metals in society comes into focus. New research shows that metals are an important ingredient in economic upswings [https://t.co/Gu4R7yTvwF].  Conversely, metal use declines rapidly in recessions. Restricting the  access to metals or increasing their price may come at a cost to the  economy. Metals are key enablers [...]

May 12, 2018, by Edgar HertwichRead More