Innovative Decarbonisation Pathways for the Industry in North Rhine-Westphalia: An Analysis of Protest Movements and Social Acceptance

  • Project no.152460
  • Duration 07/2021 - 12/2023

In order to achieve climate neutrality by 2045, a far-reaching transformation of governmental and non-governmental infrastructures, such as industrial and economic infrastructures, is necessary. Implementation requires a successful negotiation process between (active) civil society, industry and politics at local, state, federal and intergovernmental levels.

In order to support progressive decarobinsation processes, the project investigates which factors influence the acceptance of infrastructure projects for CO2 reduction in the large-scale industrial sector. Moreover, reciprocal influences with protest movements in the field of climate and energy in NRW will be examined.
The project Protanz.NRW thus generates knowledge about concerns and compatibility of socially heterogeneous interests and movements with transformation processes of the North Rhine-Westphalian energy-intensive industry.
The research project is interdisciplinary. It aims at understanding forms of protest and social acceptance in the population from different scientific perspectives and with different methods. The project will explore attitudes of the silent majority of the population towards forms of protest in a participatory process (analog and digital). The overarching questions of Protanz.NRW are:

  • Which factors significantly influence the social acceptance of infrastructure projects for CO2 reductions in the large-scale industrial sector?
  • What influence do protest movements from the fields of energy and climate have on the attitudes towards and the social acceptance of infrastructure projects for decarbonisation of energy-intensive industry in NRW?

In addition to the overall coordination of the project, the team of the Wuppertal Institute will, among other things, conduct a quantitative acceptance analysis of decarbonisation strategies and their necessary infrastructures in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Analogous to the work of IN4climate.NRW and SCI4climate.NRW, different technology paths and their acceptance will be investigated; these are activities around the hydrogen economy, CO2 capture, transport and storage as well as the use of CO2 for further industrial processes and products. As a result, transformation paths are developed, which can be derived from the perceptions and attitudes of civil society, possible spatial effects as well as from the associated risks for politics and industrial companies.

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