More and more cities have set themselves the goal of being climate neutral well before 2050, and Wuppertal is no exception. The mayor of the City of Wuppertal, Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneidewind wants to put the city on the path to climate neutrality by 2035. In an exploratory study, the Wuppertal Institute has now worked out what this means in concrete terms: Starting from the target year 2035, in which greenhouse gas emissions should be as close to zero as possible, it derived which reduction paths are necessary in which areas – from buildings and mobility to industry and businesses. It is clear that the challenges are immense. Despite extremely ambitious assumptions in the rough calculations, a good 87,000 tonnes emissions will still be emitted annually – around three per cent of the 2020 level. It is also clear that a city like Wuppertal will not be able to achieve the goal alone. In 2035, for example, Wuppertal will not be able to cover its local electricity consumption with renewable energies alone, so it will have to rely on purchases from the national grid. For the goal of climate neutrality, 100 per cent of the electricity nationwide must come from renewable energy sources.
In this sense, the study shows that a much more ambitious and stringent political orientation is needed at all levels: from the EU to the federal and state governments to the municipalities. The study outlines what such a stringent orientation could look like in the multi-level political system for the following fields of action: