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 leads the work on resource efficiency and climate change of the International Resource Panel and serves Immediate Past President of the International Society for Industrial Ecology. He also serves as an Executive Fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
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.
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
- (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) Deriving life cycle assessment coefficients for application in integrated assessment modelling. Environmental Modelling & Software. vol. 99.
- (2018) Nullius in Verba: Advancing Data Transparency in Industrial Ecology. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 22 (1).
- (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.
- (2018) Choice of Allocations and Constructs for Attributional or Consequential Life Cycle Assessment and Input-Output Analysis. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 22 (4).
- (2018) Endogenizing capital in MRIO models - the implications for consumption-based accounting. Environmental Science and Technology.
- (2018) Environmental Impacts of Capital Formation. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 22 (1).
- (2018) Prioritizing Consumption-Based Carbon Policy Based on the Evaluation of Mitigation Potential Using Input-Output Methods. Journal of Industrial Ecology. vol. 22 (3).
- (2018) High sensitivity of metal footprint to national GDP in part explained by capital formation. Nature Geoscience. vol. 11 (4).
- (2017) Life cycle assessment demonstrates environmental co-benefits and trade-offs of low-carbon electricity supply options. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews. vol. 76.
- (2017) Health benefits, ecological threats of low-carbon electricity. Environmental Research Letters. vol. 12 (3).
- (2017) Mapping the carbon footprint of EU regions. Environmental Research Letters. vol. 12 (5).
- (2017) Hybrid life cycle assessment of a geothermal plant: From physical to monetary inventory accounting. Journal of Cleaner Production. vol. 142.
- (2017) Industrial ecology in integrated assessment models. Nature Climate Change. vol. 7.
- (2017) Understanding future emissions from low-carbon power systems by integration of life-cycle assessment and integrated energy modelling. Nature Energy. vol. 2 (12).