PhD, Energy and Resources, UC Berkeley
Edgar Hertwich conducts research on options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He has shown that the production of materials causes 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The focus of his current work is on the contribution of material efficiency and the circular economy to emission reductions, in particular in buildings and transportation. Since 2007, Hertwich has served as a member of the International Resource Panel, and this research is conducted at the request of the G7 environment ministers to the Resource Panel. Another area of research focus is on lifestyles and greenhouse gas emissions. Hertwich has collaborated with social scientists to evaluate the effect of changes in consumption patterns on carbon footprints and the effectiveness of social initatives to ensure lower carbon footprints of their participants.
Among other research contributions, Hertwich has provided a first quantification and analysis of carbon footprints of nations and of emissions embodied in international trade. His team has spearheaded the development of an assessment of the life-cycle environmental impacts of energy technologies and its application to energy scenarios, including the integration of life cycle assessment data in energy scenario models.
In 2003 to 2015, Hertwich served as director of the Industrial Ecology Programme at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. In 2017-18, he served as the president of the International Society for Industrial Ecology.