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Fossil-free society

Fossil-free society is a thematic area of research in Environmental Science. Here you can read more about ongoing projects and find the researchers and PhD students who are working in this area.

Environmental Science works to facilitate and accelerate a fundamental transition to a fossil-free future. The group produces basic research and collaborates with stakeholders outside academia. This collaboration creates legitimacy and leads to frameworks that are perceived as fair, justified and effective. The focus of the work is technology transition and science-based strategies and frameworks for societal transformation that ensures social goals during the phasing out of fossil fuels.

The transport of people and goods in Sweden currently accounts for a quarter of Sweden’s energy use and cars are the most common means of transport. Approximately one third of Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions come from the transport sector. The environmental impact of the transport sector can be reduced by a range of measures, e.g. by choosing more energy efficient means of transport, low-emission fuels throughout their life cycle, increased energy efficiency at all stages and avoiding unnecessary transport. New mobility solutions can make it easier for travellers to choose and switch between different means of transport, such as taking the train, cycling or walking instead of car transport.

The energy system consists not only of the electricity system but also district heating systems, district cooling and energy gas systems such as biogas and hydrogen. Carbon dioxide emissions from Sweden’s energy system are very low in an international perspective. The major potential for reducing emissions in other sectors such as industry and transport lies in electrification and primarily by building up a hydrogen infrastructure. The largest application area for hydrogen in industry is in the reduction process, heating at high temperatures in the steel and construction industries and in the production of fertilisers. There are also some application areas in the transport sector, primarily in heavy and long-distance road freight transport and in shipping and aviation.

Ongoing research projects


The Fairtrans research programme aims to utilise civil society’s experience and engagement to facilitate and accelerate an equitable climate transition. Through collaboration between researchers and civil society, the programme aims to create science-based strategies and policy frameworks for a rapid transformation, so as to ensure both a secure society and climate goals.

The work is being carried out by an interdisciplinary consortium involving Stockholm University, The University of Gävle, KTH, Uppsala University, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Lund University and the independent think tank Global Challenge. The contact person at the University of Gävle is Professor Stephan Barthel.

More information about FAIRTRANS

  • System analysis of hydrogen solutions
  • The aim of the project, with the aid of a system analysis of the value chain for hydrogen in the industry, energy and transport sectors, is to bridge gaps in our knowledge and find synergies among the target groups involved.
  • More information about the project

PhD students’ projects

For current PhD students’ projects, see the respective PhD students’ presentations.

Previous research projects
  • Ratt-X
    RATT-X was a three-year project that worked on system analysis of – entire or partial – regional value chains for renewable fuels and the interactions between them.

Researchers and PhD students working in this field

Karl Hillman.

Karl Hillman
Associate Professor

Marita Wallhagen forskar om byggnaders inverkan på miljön.

Marita Wallhagen
Associate Professor

Foto taget på biogasanläggningen i Forsbacka 190117.Från vänster i bild: Komalsingh Rambaree (HiG), Sandra Wright (HiG), Agneta Sundström (HiG) och Zhao Wang (HiG).

Zhao Wang
Senior Lecturer

Daniele Silvestro

Electric cars, better for the environment and for the pocket

In this lecture, Peder Zandén Kjellén, researcher in Environmental Science, talks about electric cars. About their environmental impact and that it may actually be better for your pocket to choose an electric car rather than petrol or diesel. But remember to think about what you really need when you choose a new car! The lecture is in Swedish.

Car cost calculator

Use our car cost calculator to compare different car models by cost, emissions and fuel, so as to understand the overall cost picture.


Karl Hillman

Associate Professor
E-mail: karl.hillman@hig.se

Shveta Soam

E-mail: shveta.soam@hig.se

Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Gunilla Mårtensson Updated: 2023-11-28
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