Inderscience Publishers

Environmental impact from a sector: production and consumption of energy carriers in Sweden

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Environmental impacts from the Swedish energy sector, including upstream and downstream effects, were investigated using a hybrid IOA-LCA method. Use of abiotic resources, climate change, air pollution and toxic effects were identified as environmental hotspots in the sector. On the production side, power, gas and heat production were found to cause many environmental effects, but impacts abroad from imported energy carriers, mainly oil, also contributed significantly to total impact. However, impacts from use of energy carriers overshadowed impacts from their production, and the cumulative impact from many small users of energy carriers was shown to be as important as emissions from large industries. The assessment provides a basis for sector policymakers and shows, e.g., the importance of not focusing solely on climate change, and the significance of including upstream and downstream effects.

Keywords: input-output analysis, energy, environmental systems analysis, environmental impact, Sweden, industrial ecology, strategic sustainable development

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