Greenhouse gas emissions from built environment development in Iceland

Jukka Heinonen*, Arora Arnadottir, Nargessadat Emami, Bjorn Marteinsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

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Without rapid and radical greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, irreversible damage threatening life on the globe might occur already during the next decades. One of the key sectors in finding solutions to climate change is the built environment, which currently directly or indirectly causes the majority of anthropogenic GHG emissions. The transition towards more sustainable settlements requires massive use of materials and energy, but it is not well known at all how much GHG emissions are "invested" into the development of the future low-carbon built environment. In this study we use input-output analysis to calculate an estimate of the GHGs embodied in the built environment development in Iceland. The input data consists of annual economic turnover data of different construction sectors for the years 2013-2017. The GHG estimates are derived using the EIO-LCA input-output model. We find that the built environment development emissions of Iceland are significant even though the actual emissions largely take place outside the country, being thus outsourced emissions. Surprisingly the development of the capital region did not stand out as the engine of these emissions, but the spread appeared to be relatively equal between the capital region and the rest of the country.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSustainable Built Environment Conference - Metropolia Myllypuro Campus, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 22 May 201924 May 2019




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