Background and activities
Edgar Hertwich is International Chair in Industrial Ecology at NTNU and professor at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering. He serves as leader of the research area Circular Economy of NTNU Sustainability. He also serves as an Executive Fellow at the Yale School of the Environment. He leads the work on resource efficiency and climate change of the International Resource Panel. This work has been used in many policy processes. It informed the EC's Circular Economy Action Plan and the Renovation Wave, part of its climate policy for the building sector. Hertwich is ranked among the top 100 researchers in the world in the fields of environmental science and climate change, according to separate assessments conducted by researchers at Stanford University and Reuters.
Hertwich was a lead author of the energy systems chapter and the methods annex of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC 5th assessment report, as well as a contributor to the Technical Summary and the Summary for Policy makers. He contributed to the Global Energy Assessment and serves on the editorial boards of Environmental Science & Technology, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, and the Journal of Economic Structures.
Hertwich was born in Salzburg, Austria. He has an engineering degree from the HTL Braunau, an Bachelor in physics (Magna Cum Laude) from Princeton University, and an MSc and PhD in energy & ressources from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked at the Austrian Energy Agency, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and served as chair of the board of MiSA - a start-up founded with former students. From 2015-2019, he was professor of industrial sustainability and director of the Center for Industrial Ecology of Yale University. He served as president of the International Society for Industrial Ecology in 2017-2018.
Hertwich's research addresses climate mitigation, low-carbon energy supply, sustainable consumption and production, trade, resources, and the environment. He is interested in understanding how activities in our society produce environmental pressures, the dynamics in our development that affect these driving forces and their resulting environmental pressures, and alternative courses of action that can reduce these pressures. What is the connection between human activities on the one hand and emissions and resource use on the other hand? What are the implications of our current development path? What do we need to change, both in terms of individual actions and policy frameworks, to achieve a more sustainable development? His methods include life-cycle assessment, input-output economics, dynamic product cohort models, and statistics.
- Resource Efficiency and Climate Change (repository)
- Sustainable Development Pathways SHAPE
- Norwegian Center for Energy Transition Studies NTRANS
Previous NTNU Projects
- GLAMURS: Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability
- DESIRE: Development of a System of Indicators for a Resource-Efficient Europe
- ADVANCE: Model development and validation for climate policy analysis
- Carbon CAP: Consumption-based accounting and policy
- CENSES: Center for sustainable energy studies
Scientific, academic and artistic work
A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database
- (2021) Drivers of change in US residential energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2015. Environmental Research Letters. vol. 16 (3).
- (2021) Linking Housing Policy, Housing Typology, and Residential Energy Demand in the United States. Environmental Science and Technology. vol. 55 (4).
- (2021) A comprehensive set of global scenarios of housing, mobility, and material efficiency for material cycles and energy systems modeling. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 25 (2).
- (2021) Increased carbon footprint of materials production driven by rise in investments. Nature Geoscience. vol. 14 (3).
- (2021) Factors influencing the life-cycle GHG emissions of Brazilian office buildings. Buildings & Cities.
- (2021) Linking service provision to material cycles: A new framework for studying the resource efficiency–climate change (RECC) nexus. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 25 (2).
- (2021) Potential Climate Impact Variations Due to Fueling Behavior of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Owners in the US. Environmental Science and Technology. vol. 55 (1).
- (2021) Material efficiency and climate change mitigation of passenger vehicles. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 25 (2).
- (2021) Consideration of culture is vital if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. One Earth. vol. 4 (2).
- (2020) Capital in the American carbon, energy, and material footprint. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 24 (3).
- (2020) Carbon fueling complex global value chains tripled in the period 1995–2012. Energy Economics. vol. 86.
- (2020) Happier with less? Members of European environmental grassroots initiatives reconcile lower carbon footprints with higher life satisfaction and income increases. Energy Research & Social Science. vol. 60.
- (2019) Environmental co-benefits and adverse side-effects of alternative power sector decarbonization strategies. Nature Communications. vol. 10:5229.
- (2019) Connecting global emissions to fundamental human needs and their satisfaction. Environmental Research Letters. vol. 14 (1).
- (2019) The Environmental Impact of Green Consumption and Sufficiency Lifestyles Scenarios in Europe: Connecting Local Sustainability Visions to Global Consequences. Ecological Economics. vol. 164.
- (2019) Assessing electric vehicle policy with region-specific carbon footprints. Applied Energy. vol. 256.
- (2018) Nullius in Verba: Advancing Data Transparency in Industrial Ecology. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 22 (1).
- (2018) Deriving life cycle assessment coefficients for application in integrated assessment modelling. Environmental Modelling & Software. vol. 99.
- (2018) The growing importance of scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions from industry. Environmental Research Letters. vol. 13 (10).
- (2018) Carbon mitigation in domains of high consumer lock-in. Global Environmental Change. vol. 52.