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€ 180,000 for design of global database for calculating environmental effects

07 June 2007

How does the growth of the Chinese economy influence the greenhouse effect? How much damage does one Dutch car do to the environment, not just with regard to exhaust fumes but also to the car’s production and transport to the customer? The EU has granted the Faculty of Economics EUR 180,000 to design a global database that can make calculations such as these. PhD student Maaike Bouwmeester will be working on this over the next four years under the supervision of Jan Oosterhaven, Erik Dietzenbacher and Dirk Stelder.

The Faculty cooperates with 38 partners from other European countries in this ‘EXIOPOL’ project. Most partners will focus on case studies. Ten partners will be expanding the national input-output tables with nature and environment indicators and linking these into a global system with the help of international trade information. Groningen will take care of this linking. The Faculty was awarded this central role on the basis of the expertise built up here since the 1970s under the leadership of Jan Oosterhaven in the construction of regional, national and international input-output tables.

The new data system will be based on input-output analysis: the use of input from nature compared to output back into the nature system. Approximately 100 nature and environment indicators will be mapped, such as land use, use of resources, emissions into groundwater and air, noise, etc. These indicators will be determined for 100 economic sectors, varying from agriculture to the white goods industry. Eighty percent of the total world economy will be covered: 27 EU countries as well as 10 world powers. In addition, 40 types of household are distinguished.

The mutual comparability and linking of the information should enable calculations of the exact environmental effects of types of consumer behaviour, of a new product and even of government policy, both on a detailed level and for entire economies. The database will become a ‘living’ system that will continually be fed with the latest information. It is owned by the European Union.

Last modified:31 January 2018 11.51 a.m.
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