The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sarah Mier, 202-222-0751

Nanotechnology's True Climate and Energy Cost Exposed

Report reveals large net energy cost and other environmental threats posed by nanotechnology


Friends of the Earth groups around the world today released the
report, Nanotechnology, climate and energy: Over-heated promises and hot
air, debunking the promises made by the nanotechnology industry about
its ability to increase energy efficiency and alleviate climate change.

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

"Despite claims that nanotechnology can limit climate change and
promote energy efficiency, we've found that the use of nanotechnology
actually comes at a large environmental cost," said Ian Illuminato of
Friends of the Earth U.S., a coauthor of the report. "Rather than
substantively reducing our environmental footprint, it instead allows
people to continue with 'business as usual' and avoid serious
improvements in energy efficiency and behavioral changes."

"Worse, the report reveals that the world's biggest petrochemical
companies have established a joint, U.S.-based, consortium to use
nanotechnology to find and extract more oil and gas, which would have
extremely adverse environmental impacts."

According to the report, nanotechnology has the potential to transform
the way we harness, use and store energy. However, the manufacture of
nanotechnology products requires large amounts of energy, and the
products may not deliver promised energy. The report also highlights how
the technology is primarily used in products that do not provide energy
savings, such as clothing, cosmetics and sporting goods.

In response to the report, founder Bill McKibben said, "Very
few people have looked beyond the shiny promise of nanotechnology to try
and understand how this far-reaching new technique is actually
developing. This report is an excellent glimpse inside, and it offers a
judicious and balanced account of a subject we need very much to be
thinking about."

"Nanotechnology has been the focus of considerable 'greenwash' and
industry has promoted it as is a solution to environmental concerns. It
is important the public understands that many nanotechnology
applications actually come at a high environmental cost. Worse, at a
time when we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, there is
growing investment in nanotechnology to find and extract more oil and
gas," said report coauthor Georgia Miller, of Friends of the Earth

The report can be viewed at:

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

(202) 783-7400