Industrial Ecology programme

Fewer cows, more trees and bioenergy

Combatting global warming will require major changes in land use, a new climate change report says. One important change could be decreasing the amount of land used to produce livestock — which means that people would have to eat less meat.

Well-meaning climate measures can make matters worse

Lifestyle changes can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and help protect nature. While some actions offer great potential, some aren’t as effective as we think and may even require more land and water, such as shifting to renewable energy.

Gas instead of coal is 50% better for the climate

We can do a lot to save the climate by switching from coal to natural gas. And we can shelve concerns about the negative climate impact of methane emissions from gas production, say researchers.

Norwegian trees can power our jets

As much as 20 per cent of jet fuel burned in Norway in 2030 could be biofuel made from the country’s forest residues. This alone could cut greenhouse gas emissions from Norway’s aviation sector by 17 per cent.

Spending our carbon budgets wisely

Our carbon emissions are much higher than are needed for us to have happy, healthy lives. But cutting these emissions requires us to think differently about how we measure growth and progress.

Bigger people will need more food

Food demand is growing as people get bigger. Feeding a population of 9 billion in 2050 will require much more food than previously calculated.

Geoengineering, other technologies won’t solve climate woes

The countries of the world still need to cut their carbon dioxide emissions to reach the Paris Agreement’s climate targets. Relying on tree planting and alternative technological solutions such as geoengineering will not make enough of a difference.

Clothing, furniture play a role in ocean and freshwater pollution

Lakes choked with algae and marine “dead zones” result from too many nutrients in the water. The traditional culprit is agriculture, which relies on fertilizer to boost plant growth. But the production of consumer goods, like clothing, is also a major — and growing — contributor.

Envisioning a future where all the trees in Europe disappear

Global climate change is already affecting the globe, as demonstrated by the shrinking polar ice cap, melting glaciers and cities in the grips of longer, more intense heat waves. Now a team of researchers has conducted a radical thought experiment on how extreme land use changes could influence future climate.

New study estimates the carbon footprints of 13,000 cities

Many see cities as the new front lines of the climate change fight. Identifying the mayors and city councils in cities with the biggest carbon footprints, and the most power to make big changes, could mobilize a wave of reinforcements.

Land under water: Estimating hydropower’s land use impacts

One of the key ways to combat global climate change is to boost the world’s use of renewable energy. But even green energy has its environmental costs. A new approach describes just how hydropower measures up when it comes to land use effects.

Consumer choices for the climate

The gift-giving season is upon us, and perhaps you’re wondering how to give gifts that won’t wreck the climate. Help is on the way.

Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

Production of electricity is responsible for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and demand is poised to rise as underserved populations connect to the grid, and electronics and electric vehicles proliferate. So stopping global warming will require a transformation of electricity production. But it is important to avoid various environmental pitfalls in this transition, researchers say.

Global hot spot maps link consumers with impacts

A new model creates global hot spot maps to illuminate how what we buy pollutes the planet and where. The idea is to help governments, industries and individuals target areas for cleanup.

WITH VIDEO

Food waste recycling not always the best idea

With Norway as a case study, a first-ever effort to quantify the benefits of recycling food waste versus preventing it shows prevention is the best policy. But Norway continues to invest significant funds in biogas facilities for food waste recycling.

ABC — anything but coal

Policymakers, industry and government officials will have to invest US $2.5 trillion for electricity generation over the next 20 years. A new report presents the environmental costs and benefits linked to different renewable energy sources, and makes one thing abundantly clear: anything is better than coal.

Climate: a challenging type of justice

What makes a fair climate agreement? The fight for justice has been one of the biggest problems in all international climate discussions. The summit in Paris will likely be no exception.

Two tickets to Paris to talk about carbon cuts

NTNU was given only two admission tickets to the UN climate talks in Paris later this month. The tickets will be used in part by two researchers from the university’s Industrial Ecology Programme to give a workshop about carbon accounting.