Who did the dirty work? Energy embodied in European and global trade

Project: ResearchInternational collaboration

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Economic History


  • trade, energy , CO2 emissions, unequal ecological exchange , ecological footprint, ghost acres


The project studies unequal ecological exchange of land and energy hidden in commodity trade flows from 1800 onwards. It aims to investigate the role of the centre in the economic development, England, and its trade exchange with more peripheral nations. Is the famous proposition by Pomeranz in The Great Divergence book, that cotton imports from the colonies mattered more for British industrialization than coal, really true? Furthermore we study if Britain actually served as the workshop of the world in the late 19th century to a degree that could explain its increasing energy intensity (energy/GDP) curve (Environmental Kuznets Curve for energy) in that period.
Effective start/end date2014/01/012017/12/31

Collaborative partners