Robbie Andrew

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Recent Work

Bias on satellite estimates of fossil fuel CO2 emissions

CO2 plumes emitted by cities and powerplants contain not only fossil fuel CO2 but also significant amounts of CO2 released by human respiration and by the burning of biofuels. Learn more »

CO2 continues to rise despite policy

Continued support for low-carbon technologies needs to be combined with policies directed at phasing out the use of fossil fuels.Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget 2019

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2019 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1750. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget Figures

Every year the Global Carbon Project publishes a number of figures demonstrating the latest global carbon budget, and these are freely available for use in a number of formats.Learn more »

Declining CO2 emissions in 18 developed economies

In 18 countries, the displacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy and decreases in energy use explain decreasing CO2 emissions. Learn more »

Global CO2 emissions from cement production

Updated: Cement production has grown at an even faster pace than use of fossil fuels since 2000, and CO2 emissions resulting from this production are increasing in step. This new article makes the most thorough estimate to date of these emissions.Learn more »

Energy growth outpacing decarbonization

Global emissions were stable for three years, despite continuing growth in the global economy, but rose again in 2017. Now they're set to rise even more in 2018. Learn more »

Emissions Transfers within China

Carbon policy attention in China should be given to committed emissions from investment and the interaction between non-uniform provincial climate policies and economic relationships between provinces.Learn more »

Predicting atmospheric CO2 concentration

In early 2016, we predicted that the annual rise in carbon dioxide concentration at Mauna Loa at the end of that year. How did we do?Learn more »

Emissions trends in the EU

How do trends for the EU's territorial and consumption-based emissions compare, and what's driving them?Learn more »

Not just the big firms in China

China's climate policy has been largely focussed at the largest firms. In this new analysis, Meng and colleagues demonstrate that small and medium-sized firms emit over half of China's CO2, and up to two-thirds when their supply chains are included.Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget 2017

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2017 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1751. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

Warning signs

For the last three years, emissions were stable, despite continuing growth in the global economy. However, the temporary hiatus appears to have ended in 2017. Learn more »

Real-time verification of emissions

The Paris Agreement has increased the incentive to verify reported emissions with independent Earth system observations. Reliable verification requires a step change in our understanding of carbon cycle variability.Learn more »

Emissions embodied in trade plateaued

Through the 2000's developed countries imported 'embodied' emissions from China via goods, adding to their national carbon footprints. This trend appears to have turned a corner.Learn more »

Contributions to Climate Change

The responsibility of each country for climate change shifts depending on your perspective. Ragnhild Bieltvedt Skeie and colleagues explore and quantify some of these perspectives.Learn more »

Urban Infrastucture

The world's cities account for about 20% of global GHG emissions. With new cities popping up like daisies, new infrastructure will largely determine where future emissions go.Learn more »

Global environmental footprints

A guide to estimating, interpreting and using consumption-based accounts of resource use and environmental impacts.Learn more »

Reaching peak emissions

Global emissions growth appears to have slowed in the last two years. Rob Jackson and colleagues discuss the causes for this and the potential for emissions to peak in the near future.Learn more »

Emissions and Global Temperature Impacts

CO2 emissions are rising at a rate that could raise global temperature 2C above preindustrial values in about 20 years and 3C by mid-century.Learn more »

Footprints of Norwegian food

This report reviews and presents the literature on the life-cycle greenhouse emissions from the meat and dairy value chains.Learn more »

Uncertainty in temperature response to consumption

How much does today's consumption affect long-term temperature change, and how certain can we about these effects? Jonas Karstensen and colleagues present a detailed analysis.Learn more »

Allocation of global temperature change to consumers

In this article Jonas Karstensen and colleagues investigate the effects of consumption on global temperature change. While many studies focus on the well-mixed GHGs (CO2, CH4, etc.), this study includes also the so-called short-lived climate forcers such as SO2 and BC. This extended framing provides a clearer picture of the climate consequences of policy.Learn more »

Betting on Negative Emissions

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage could be used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, its credibility as a climate change mitigation option is unproven and its widespread deployment in climate stabilization scenarios might become a dangerous distraction.Learn more »

A synthesis of carbon in international trade

In this comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the analysis of carbon embodied in international trade, Glen Peters and colleagues bring together treatments of some of the key issues, and introduce important new analyses. Learn more »

Services from the environment to our culture


The field of ecosystem services describes how we benefit from the environment, including in intangible ways. While there are some established (albeit debated) methods for putting a value on some services, cultural ecosystem services are often placed in the too-hard basket. In this work, Robbie Andrew provides an overview of cultural ES, discussing the difficulties and presenting some potential solutions. Learn more »

Spatial spillover effects within China

Just as with international trade, trade within China can drive regional emissions. Here Meng and colleagues analyse the spatial spillover effects between regions in China.Learn more »

Tracking Paris

The Paris Agreement has finally paved the way for global CO2 mitigation. But each country has a different route, and how much progress are they making? Glen Peters and colleagues suggest a framework of analysis.Learn more »

How much Chinese coal?

China’s coal consumption grew enormously through the 2000s, leading to rapid growth in emissions of CO2. But how much did they grow? Uncertainty around China’s coal consumption data persist, and Jan Ivar Korsbakken and colleagues present the latest.Learn more »

Limits to negative emissions

To keep global warming below 2°C, many models make extensive use of so-called Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), which remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Pete Smith and colleagues quantify the limits to such technologies, including the requirements for land, water, nutrients, and energy. Reliance on these technologies to allow us to emit more comes with substantial risks.Learn more »

Fairness and Ambition

We are rapidly depleting the global budget for CO2 emissions determined by a 2C limit. How do major emitters’ pledges compare to the path we must take?Learn more »

Persistent growth of carbon emissions

Two thirds of the CO2 emission quota consistent with a 2°C temperature limit has already been used, and the total quota will likely be exhausted in a further 30 years at the 2014 emissions rates.Learn more »

Climate Regulation in NZ

book chapter Ausseil, Kirschbaum, Andrew et al. (2014) in: Dymond (Ed.), Ecosystem Services in New Zealand: Conditions and Trends. PDF

In this chapter of a new book about ecosystem services in New Zealand, Anne-Galle Ausseil and colleagues review all stocks and fluxes of carbon in New Zealand, both natural and man-made. Including energy, agriculture, albedo, erosion, forestry, and others, this analysis presents a comprehensive picture of New Zealand’s use of and influence on the global climate-regulating system.Learn more »

Undermining REDD?

Logging in the Amazon rainforest has serious consequences for the climate, and some countries are paying to help reduce deforestration through a process called REDD. But are those same countries driving the same deforestation through their own consumption patterns? Jonas Karstensen and colleagues investigate.Learn more »

New Zealand’s GHG emissions since 1861


New Zealand’s official greenhouse gas emissions inventory presents territorial emissions since 1990 as required by the UNFCCC. But what were the country’s emissions before 1990? Here Robbie Andrew has estimated emissions right back to 1861 using data scoured from a range of sources to show how New Zealand’s emissions have changed since not long after the country’s European settlement.Learn more »


In this article, Robbie Andrew and Glen Peters describe work using an MRIO table derived from the GTAP database. They discuss the historical development and briefly describe its construction. They also find that carbon footprint estimates are likely to be more influenced by differences in satellite accounts than to differences in the underlying economic data.Learn more »

How to build an MRIOT from GTAP

Glen Peters and colleagues lay out clearly the method for constructing a multi-regional input-output table using the GTAP (Global Trade Analysis Project) database. Learn more »

Norway's GHG emissions

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A quick rundown on where Norway's greenhouse emissions actually come from.Learn more »

History of CO2 estimates

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Part I of a 'short' history of estimating global CO2 emissions.Learn more »

Must we utilise Norway's grass?

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The argument that we must use Norway's grass resource is often used in discussions about livestock. Here are some thoughts on that.Learn more »

Background on Norwegian agriculture

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A collection of semi-related thoughts and charts on the theme of sustainability in Norwegian agriculture.Learn more »

What's my responsibility?

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Is exporting fossil fuels really like "selling arms to a country that's at war and committing atrocities"?Learn more »

Reaching 2°C

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We have a big challenge ahead of us if we are to hold global warming to under 2°C. This is largely because we have already used up most of our collective 'carbon budget'.Learn more »

Solution to the Entire Problem?

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Talk of greatly expanding the role of ruminants to solve climate change is misplaced.Learn more »

Global GDP revisions

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A quick analysis of revisions of IMF's forecasts and estimates of global GDP. Spoiler: forecasts are almost always revised down.Learn more »

Global mitigation curves

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The 2°C target gets harder and harder the longer we delay global mitigation. This figure makes that point starkly clear.Learn more »

India's CO2 emissions

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India's emissions are rising much more slowly than last year.Learn more »

Norway's agricultural emissions

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Norway's agricultural emissions have declined, but the reasons are interesting.Learn more »

Norway's emissions exports

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Norway exports substantial emissions to other countries via oil and gas.Learn more »

Drivers of atmospheric CO2

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The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere both varies seasonally and is increasing every year. Here's why.Learn more »

Mauna Loa weekly PPM

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In 2016 the atmospheric concentration of CO2 stayed above 400ppm all year.Learn more »

China’s GDP per capita

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China’s economic growth in recent decades is without precedent. This figure demonstrates that China is still a long way behind developed countries.Learn more »

Sharing a quota on cumulative carbon emissions

Any limit on future global warming is associated with a quota on cumulative global CO2 emissions. We translate this global carbon quota to regional and national scales, on a spectrum of sharing principles that extends from continuation of the present distribution of emissions to an equal per-capita distribution of cumulative emissions.Learn more »

Foreign carbon

The global supply chain of carbon emissions, from extraction of fossil fuels, via production through to consumption of goods and services can be long, passing through many countries along the way. Robbie Andrew and colleagues analyse the distribution of global carbon emissions at these three distinct waypoints, and argue that cross-border carbon policy options need further exploration.Learn more »

Staying below 2°C

Global emissions are tracking the most pessimistic scenarios used by the IPCC. Glen Peters and colleagues present a comparison of emissions with all four sets of scenarios used by the IPCC since 1990, and argue that inertia in both human systems and the climate system make a 2°C goal harder with every day of inaction.Learn more »

Drivers of Change in the Arctic

The Arctic is currently undergoing rapid change, to a large degree because of global warming. But how are other drivers of change expected to change in future both because of and independently of the changing climate? This detailed report summarises the current state of knowledge.Learn more »

Mapping ecosystem services

Anne-Galle Ausseil and colleagues map provision of services by the environment across all of New Zealand. They then use the mapping method to assess an afforestation scenario at catchment scale to determine the consequences for the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services.Learn more »

Loss of high-class agricultural land

Development of smallholdings in New Zealand has increased in recent years, as people choose to get back to nature or escape the rat race. Robbie Andrew and John Dymond calculate how much of New Zealand’s best agricultural soils have been ‘lost’ to lifestyle blocks, and discuss what is meant by ‘loss’ in this context.Learn more »

Selected Earlier Work

Global Carbon Budget 2016

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2016 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1751. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget 2015

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2015 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1751. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget 2014

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2014 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1751. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

Approximating MRIO

Because of the cost and perceived difficulty of using full multi-regional input–output (MRIO) models to calculate emissions embodied in international trade, many researchers use simpler approaches, making key assumptions and approximations. In this study, Robbie Andrew and colleagues investigate the effects of these approximations and provide advice on their use. Learn more »

Auditing New Zealand’s Ecological Footprint

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The Global Footprint Network releases periodic estimates of the ecological footprints of almost 150 nations. In this work, Robbie Andrew and Vicky Forgie re-audit the accounts for New Zealand, finding significant improvements compared with their first audit a year earlier. Learn more »

Trade impacts of global climate change policy

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Negotiations continue towards a new international climate change mitigation regime. What could the effects of potential policies be on New Zealand’s trade? Robbie Andrew and colleagues use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to investigate. Learn more »

Benefits of bioenergy

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Many options have been presented as cleaner alternatives to burning fossil fuels, but are they really cleaner? In these studies, Robbie Andrew and colleagues conduct detailed life-cycle energy, carbon emissions, and cost assessments of three proposed bioenergy options in New Zealand. Learn more »

Sharing responsibility

The two prevalent approaches to allocating responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions – production and consumption perspectives – push responsibility to either end of the supply chain. In this study, Robbie Andrew and Vicky Forgie present the first national-level application of the shared responsibility perspective. Learn more »

Measuring genuine progress


Simon Kuznets, who originally formulated GDP, said clearly that it was a poor measure of the welfare of a nation. The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is an alternative indicator that begins to include many of the parts of wellbeing left out of GDP.Learn more »

Modelling nitrous oxide emissions from soils

Emissions of nitrous oxide from soil are notoriously difficult to measure and model because they depend on soil characteristics that are highly variable in both time and space. In this work, Surinder Saggar, Robbie Andrew and colleagues present work aimed at reducing these uncertainties. Learn more »

The environmental impacts of New Zealand’s primary industries

Global markets are placing ever higher demands on the environmental performance of the goods they purchase, and New Zealand primary producers are facing up to the challenge. In this study, Robbie Andrew and Vicky Forgie present a detailed analysis of the supply-chain energy use, land use, and carbon emissions of the main primary industries in New Zealand. Learn more »

Rural productive potential

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Robbie Andrew and colleagues investigated current rural production activity for a municipality in New Zealand, along with its environmental impacts and future potential for expansion. Learn more »

Human carrying capacity

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What is the maximum human population that a small district can sustain? In this study, Robbie Andrew and colleagues explore the concept of human carrying capacity, how it could be applied at the local scale, and how the upper limits of human activity could be defined. Learn more »

Scenarios of four futures

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In support of qualitative scenario work based on four potential futures of New Zealand, Oscar Montes de Oca and colleagues developed a dynamic environment-economy model. The model combines the dynamics of population, labour force, economic growth, and environmental impacts to investigate the potential outcomes of the scenarios. Learn more »

Calculate your own Footprint


The Ecological Footprint is an indicator of your personal impact on the planet. Use this simple calculator, specially calibrated to New Zealand data, to estimate your own personal footprint. Find out what the biggest contributors are! Learn more »

Describing landforms

There are numerous ways to describe a landscape, and much depends on what scale one chooses. Is this a valley or merely a dip in a larger slope? In this work, Jochen Schmidt and Robbie Andrew introduce a novel approach to the characterisation of landforms at any scale. Learn more »

Modelling catchment hydrology

How does changing land use affect the hydrology of a catchment? In this work, Robbie Andrew and John Dymond construct a reduced-complexity mechanistic model and apply it at high spatial resolution to investigate the consequences of changing patterns of forest and agriculture. Learn more »

Assessing the impact of ‘low-impact’ stormwater treatment

There are several more environmentally friendly alternatives proposed to the traditional concrete-pipe approaches to dealing with urban stormwater. In this study, Robbie Andrew and Eva Vesely conduct a life-cycle analysis of the energy and carbon emissions associated with a raingarden, and compare these to a conventional, pipe-based approach. Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget 2013

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2013 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1751. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget 2012

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2012 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1751. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

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