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Albert Kwame Osei-Owusu

Albert Kwame Osei-Owusu


PhD project: Global Analysis of trade-related emissions (GATE)

University: Aarhus University 

Department: Department of Environmental Science, EMBI section (Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology)

Supervisors: Prof. Marianne Thomsen (main); Dr. Dario Caro (co-supervisor)

Project term: November 11, 2017 – October 31, 2020

Master degree: Agricultural Economics, University of Copenhagen. Specialization in food and natural resource Economics, Ecological Economics, panel regression analysis, international trade and economic-environmental input-output modelling.


The expected increase of global population in 2050 by 45-50% is predicted to be associated with rising global demand for food, especially livestock products. The expansion of food production to feed the growing population is expected to exert pressure on both local and global natural resources, biodiversity and lead to GHG emissions. In order to satisfy such rising food demand, countries will remain reliant on each other through international trade based on specialisation in the face of the changing climate. Consequently, the gains in national emission reduction targets can be marred by the transfer of environmental impacts embodied in international traded goods across national borders.


The aim to my PhD project is to contribute to food-related environmental footprint calculations at the county, country and global level as well as provide insights about future trends and potential shifts to and use of low carbon-intensive food and livestock feed products/technologies. I evaluate both the land footprint and the GHG emissions embodied in the Danish food system and agricultural sector from a global perspective. The workhorse for my studies includes Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO), physical accounting and hybrid IO-LCA models. We complement the IPCC’s territorial accounting principle for environmental impacts with a consumption-based accounting method, which assigns all environmental impacts to region final consumption. For the regional study on Denmark ,I use CRT's local INterregional economic (LINE) model.

Research outline:

The first paper provides evidence of the trend of Denmark’s global land footprint associated with food and feed consumption. The second paper investigates the heterogeneity of meat production and consumption emissions of the 5 regions of Denmark and their correlation to the social and geo-demographic characteristics of each region. The third paper uses an MRIO database called EXIOBASE to evaluate the emissions embodied in Denmark’s global food trade with a focus on emission embodied in inputs for major food export and import commodities. Paper four investigates the possibilities of reducing the carbon footprint of Danish meat product using feed substitution scenarios with special focus on seaweed feed for livestock using a hybrid IO-LCA.

I hope my results will provide a platform for further research, discussions and contribute to broader scheme of global climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies through cleaner food and livestock production systems, consumer awareness of environmental impact of food choices, local feed sufficiency policies and transfer of cleaner technologies.


Department of Environmental Science, EMBI section, Aarhus University

Centre for Regional & Tourism Research (CRT), Denmark

Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol), Input-Output Group, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

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