Carbon Footprints, Modeling and Analysis

Course Description: 

Carbon footprints are important tools in climate policy making. Carbon footprints describe the greenhouse gas emissions associated with an activity, company, household, or nation and are based on a life-cycle perspective, assigning emissions of greenhouse gases to the end user. Carbon footprints are also discussed in connection with responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This course offers an introduction to the assessment of carbon footprints using input-output techniques and life-cycle assessment, and it examines scientific, policy, and management issues associated with carbon footprinting. It also offers an introduction to the analysis and interpretation of carbon footprint results. The course is split into two parts. In the first, students learn the techniques of carbon footprint modeling and analysis using generic tools such as MatLab and Excel through both lectures and exercises. The second part of the course is dedicated to assessing and understanding carbon footprints of areas of final demand (e.g., food), specific product groups (e.g., cars), or organizations (e.g., F&ES, YNHH). Grading is based on problem sets, a midterm exam, and a final project. The students must be comfortable with quantitative analysis and prepared to acquire basic programming and modeling skills. Prior knowledge of life-cycle assessment and industrial ecology is desirable and may be gained through taking F&ES 884 

Edgar Hertwich
F&ES 638b/ENVE 422