Denmark’s Carbon Footprint

A new estimate of a Danish Carbon Footprint and a review of previous studies.

The client

Danish Energy Agency – Denmark


Our role

2.-0 LCA consultants hosted a seminar for the Agency staff and wrote a report describing the available methods and calculated a consumer related carbon footprint for Denmark. Project completed March 2014.

A Danish Carbon Footprint and a review of existing studies

In order to improve the knowledge of Denmark’s “carbon footprint”, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has commissioned a study on the national consumption-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Besides providing new results, this study does also provide a critical review of previous studies. The focus of the review is highlighting methodological differences and any other aspects causing differences in the results obtained.

The main goal of this project is to provide the best possible estimate of Denmark’s consumption-related “carbon footprint” (report in Danish). By carbon footprint is meant GHG-emissions, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq.). Consumption-related is defined as GHG-emissions from the Danish economy including imports, while emissions associated with exports are excluded. In this respect, the limitations of the traditional geographical approach to account for national emissions are addressed by taking into account the full life cycle of imported products to Danish economy. Data on production, imports, and exports of goods and services are obtained from environmentally-extended input-output (IO) tables. An additional goal of the project is to provide an overview of the products and services imported to and exported from Denmark, and their embedded GHG-emission.

The main results of this project has also been synthesised by Danish Energy Agency in this brief note (in Danish).