Nanotechnology's true climate and energy cost exposed

A new report by Friends of the Earth shows how nanotechnology has so far failed to deliver the green benefits promised by the industry.

In fact, in many instances, it's added to the environmental challenges we face.

The report - Nanotechnology, climate and energy: over-heated promises and hot air - debunks the promises made by the nanotechnology industry about its capacity to increase energy efficiency and curtail climate change.

Current nano-products require large amounts of energy to manufacture and don't deliver the promised environmental benefits.

Mike Childs, Head of Climate Change, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Nanotechnology may have a useful role to play in developing a greener future, but the report shows that current applications:

  • Offer little in the way of environmental benefits.
  • Are often more energy-intensive than conventional approaches
  • Sometimes create environmental risks.

The report delves into the complex issues raised by nanotechnology and concludes that it fails to show much potential as a solution to global warming, resource depletion or pollution.

Despite industry claims, nanotechnology will not significantly contribute to energy saving and greenhouse gas reduction.

Ian Illuminato, Friends of the Earth US

It's important the public understands that many nanotechnology applications come at a high environmental cost.

Georgia Miller, Friends of the Earth Australia

The report was published by Friends of the Earth US, Friends of the Earth Australia, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Friends of the Earth Europe.