Topics presented here give a broader perspective on issues addressed in individual projects; please follow the links on the left to get an overview or read in-depth information.
Alternative Energy Carriers and Transport Fuels
The limits of conventional energy supplies based on fossil fuels are foreseeable. At a time when resources become increasingly scarce and dependence on energy imports grows, the use of alternative fuels becomes a key strategy for sustainability - both on the national and the global level.
Carbon Capture and Storage
CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) is a promising technology for climate change mitigation.This technology path prevents CO2 entering into the atmosphere, and could probably reduce global emissions to great extent. Due to the increase of global energy demands, following business-as-usual projections a CO2 emission growth of 62 percent is expected by 2030.
Climate Change Adaptation
The 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC emphasises the urgent need for societies to adapt to the impacts of climate change in order to minimise the associated risks. In general, less developed countries are found to be much more vulnerable than industrialised countries.
Climate Protection on Local Level
Climate protection starts at one's own house door, in the cities and municipalities as local concentration and diverse forms of utilisation (housing, business and industry, transportation, leisure activities) are responsible for a major part of climate relevant emissions.
Design in the Sustainability Discourse
Design plays a crucial role regarding the life-cycle of products and services when it comes to sustainability. It has an impact on resource consumption not only during the production phase but also during consumption. For more than 20 years the Wuppertal Institute has been working on sustainable Product-Service-Systems.
Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis and Indicators
The economy-wide material flow analysis portrays the material basis of a country or region. It measures the exchange with the natural environment and - via trade -with other economic regions.
Education for Sustainable Development
Production and consumption patters will finally change when this is recognised as beneficial for the individual and the society. This is why the research spectrum of the Wuppertal Institute includes the transfer of research results into educational application fields, the identification of teaching and learning content and the development of target group specific concepts, as well as testing new methods of conveyance.
Energy savings resp. an increase in energy efficiency can be achieved at different sections of the supply and demand chain. In all areas, there are major potentials for innovation and market opportunities. Realisation can be fostered by adequate policies and measures.
From Waste to Sustainable Resource Management
The Wuppertal Institute develops strategies and concepts for a low-waste and resource-efficient society. The entailed socio-economic, technical and institutional challenges are analysed and innovative approaches are developed and realised in cooperation with practice partners.
Global Land Use and the Consumption of Agricultural Goods
All additional demands for biomass from cropland, whether for biofuels or energy crops, will increase pressure toward the conversion of natural areas. For this reason, biofuels such as first-generation biodiesel from palm oil and bioethanol from corn ultimately lead to more, and not as hoped to lower, greenhouse gas emissions.
International Climate Policy
Despite the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol the international community has yet to find an adequate answer to the challenge of global climate change. At the annual UN climate conferences (Conference of the Parties - COP) governments negotiate intensively to find a solution to the problem that is suitable and acceptable to all.
MIPS (Material Input per Service Unit)
The MIPS concept and its practical application in the form of the Material Intensity Analysis (MAIA) can be applied in a variety of ways in organizations and for whole economic systems. MIPS is an elementary measure to estimate the environmental impacts caused by a product.
Renewables in a Sustainable Energy System
"Renewables" - this is more than a term for the technical options of a worldwide modern sustainable energy system. It stands for a range of activities structured around "climate protection".
Scenarios for a Sustainable Low Carbon Society
Since its foundation in 1991 the Wuppertal Institute has been working on visions for a sustainable low carbon society. Today the Institute's four research groups all contribute to different facets of this issue.
Sufficiency Asks for the Right Measure. It refers to lifestyles and business conduct bringing to an end the overuse of goods and thereby of resources and energy.
Sustainability Research within and for North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is not only the federal state with the largest population but also the state with the absolutely highest specific CO2-emissions. The state's declared aim is to provide and guarantee an adequate contribution to climate protection. The Wuppertal Institute researches in this context how NRW can cope with the structure change towards a low-carbon region.
Sustainability Research in and for the City of Wuppertal
With only just about 350.000 inhabitants, Wuppertal is a typical shrinking major city with chronic budget problems. However, city politics and administration, citizenship and local business are highly dedicated when it comes to their common future. The Wuppertal Institute supports them scientifically in various ways.