Ending the fossil era, keeping climate change below 2° celsius – possible, but it will take many actors in countries, cities and companies, as well as just international climate politics and low-carbon lifestyles.
At the UN climate summit in Paris the world has agreed to limit global warming well below 2° celsius above pre-industrial levels. If this goal is not achieved, we are facing changes in the earth system that will spiral beyond our control. Our main tool is a radical reduction in the emission of climate gases, especially those being emitted into the atmosphere in the highest quantities.
How can an effective and just international climate regime be designed? States, regions and cities need to intensify their own efforts while at the same time supporting the least developed states, encouraging them to pursue post-carbon development. The Wuppertal Institute is researching which mechanisms and instruments are best fit for this purpose.
Industrialised and emerging countries need to get on a trajectory towards near-zero overall CO2 emissions by 2050 and an almost complete decarbonisation of the energy system. By that time – at the latest – the era of coal, oil and gas as the foundation of our economy will need to be over. The world will be a different place mid-century. The transition has already started, but will need to pick up speed. The Wuppertal Institute can show how systemic change is possible.
The transition will only be possible if everyone contributes. At all levels of governance there are countless active groups and individuals, setting ambitious climate targets and pushing for their realisation. The Wuppertal Institute provides essential support, especially to states/provinces, cities and municipalities, through concepts and strategies going beyond emissions reductions. Together with our partners we ensure that they are on a sustainable and resilient path in the right direction, that businesses and citizens are included and given the opportunity to benefit from the transition.
Climate Change is already leaving its mark. Some parts of the world are seeing devastating extreme weather events, but even in central Europe climate damages are costing billions of Euros. The reconfiguration of infrastructure required for climate mitigation will need to consider these effects.
Ultimately effective climate protection goes far beyond new sources of energy or innovative technologies. What we consume, and how much of it; how the things we use are produced; how we dispose of them after use: our every-day decisions affect the climate. A lifestyle aware of its impacts needs to be supported by easily available information and transparency. Climate-friendly products and services need to be widely available and their use encouraged and rewarded by policy measures. Climate-friendly lifestyles are an important area of our research.
Many of us will benefit from climate protection – because climate protection measures that are based on renewable energies and energy efficiency often come with added values. Examples for this are the improvement of air quality, an easier access to energy, generation of new jobs and business opportunities, as well as a lower dependency on fuel imports and thus a higher security of energy supply.
Read more on our research on climate protection:
Here you find up-to-date information about research findings and activities in the field of climate protection.
You find all scientific publications on our publication server:
Climate protection research takes place on a national and international level. In the following you find selected sample projects. A complete list is available here.