Sustainability Researchin and forNorth Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous and economically the strongest federal state of Germany. The agglomeration of the Rhine-Ruhr area counts a population of 10 million and is one of the largest 30 city regions worldwide with important key industries.

Because of its central position, North Rhine-Westphalia belongs to those areas in Europe with the most comprehensive access by traffic engineering. No other German federal state pollutes as much CO2 emission in total and per capita as NRW. The lignite-mining district with its four power stations is said to be the largest CO2 source in Europe. 

ssen is going to be Europe's Green Capital
Essen is going to be Europe's Green Capital 2017. It’s the first time in the history of the Green Capitals that a city of the steel and coal industry won the title. The story of the successful transformation of a steel and coal city to the greenest city of North Rhine-Westphalia is a good practice example for many European cities undergoing structural changes. The picture shows a new and green residential area. Picture: TBE/Thinkstock

The structural transformation from heavy industries to a service and knowledge based economy is decreasing CO2 emissions. But it is not enough. The transformation has to be accompanied by the installation of a resource saving and low carbon economy. If we succeed in developing a blueprint for post-fossil development paths in an area as industrial as this, it is more than likely that this will be multiplied both nationally and internationally.

Since its foundation by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Wuppertal Institute researches sustainability strategies for NRW. The research covers system analyses as well as several pilot projects like the energetic reconstruction of schools. It scientifically monitored the development of the Climate Policy and the Sustainability Strategy of North Rhine-Westphalia. Studies of the Wuppertal Institute support the state government and parliament in their decisions on technology support like hydrogen fuel cells, carbon capture and storage, alternative fuels and e-mobility. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Wuppertal Institute in many projects pays special attention to the structural changes of the Ruhr region as well as its hometown Wuppertal.


Prof. Dr. Oscar Reutter

Tel.: +49 202 2492-267

Fax: +49 202 2492-108


Here you find research activities in and for North Rhine-Westphalia.