Pathways toClimate Neutrality

The European Union aims to achieve climate neutrality by the middle of the century. Germany is striving to reach climate neutrality as early as 2045. To do so, greenhouse gas emissions will have to decrease much faster over the coming years. The Wuppertal Institute and partners showed how Germany could become climate-neutral by 2045 in a scenario study published in 2021.

The Wuppertal Institute also uses its long-standing expertise in performing meta-analyses of energy system scenarios in various projects. In one of these meta-analyses on behalf of Fridays for Future Germany, it investigated the accelerated changes that would be realised in the energy industry and in the buildings, industry and transport sectors to achieve a climate-neutral German energy system already by 2035. In a study on behalf of the nature conservation organisation NABU, the Wuppertal Institute used a scenario meta-analysis to derive various strategies for how the energy transition can be implemented in a way that minimises negative impacts on nature.

Pathways to Decarbonisation
The Wuppertal Institute develops pathways that show how energy-intensive industries can become climate-neutral.

Three levels play a key role in the phase-out of a fossil energy system: Companies face the task of switching to climate-neutral production processes and developing new, climate-friendly business areas. The Wuppertal Institute shows how the industry can transform, what a sustainable power plant might look like, and how the energy-intensive basic materials sector can be transformed towards climate neutrality.

The climate protection policies of cities and municipalities should also be strategically oriented towards the long-term objective of a climate-neutral society. The Wuppertal Institute has shown what this might look like, for example, in the "Integrated Energy Framework Concept Mannheim – Pathways to Climate Neutrality" study commissioned by Mannheim's energy supply company MVV. The study suggests that the city of Mannheim can reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 99 per cent by the middle of the century. At the same time, the scientists explain that transforming a major city into a virtually climate-neutral urban environment will be a major challenge – one that can only be accomplished if all stakeholders pursue this goal as a high priority.

However, energy systems are also shaped at the national and international level. In this context, the Wuppertal Institute contributes to supporting the respective political discourses regarding the sustainable transformation of energy systems. It is developing climate protection scenarios for Germany with special regard to the heavily industrialised state of North Rhine-Westphalia, often involving stakeholders from industry and society in the scenario development process. The Wuppertal Institute also develops pathways towards a sustainable energy supply for other countries, such as the MENA SELECT project for Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia.


Here you find publications on decarbonisation.

Related publications

Auslegung, Analyse und Bewertung von Direct Air Capture (DAC)-Anlagen zur Nutzung für Power-to-X-Prozesse und zur Erzielung "negativer Emissionen" in Deutschland


Glasgow Decisions on Mitigation Measures in the Forestry Sector in Focus

Policy Paper analyses future role of forestry activities on the global carbon market

Are Tenants Willing to Pay for Energy Efficiency?

Small-scale analysis shows that although there is a price premium for energy efficiency for rental flats in Wuppertal, it is very low

Schools Calculate Their Carbon Footprint

Wuppertal Institute have developed a CO2-assessment tool and tested it at four pilot schools

Climate Neutrality in Business

Ten Recommendations for Implementation

Zeit für den Kurswechsel: hin zu einer klimagerechten ressourcenleichten Gesellschaft

Beitrag für die politische Debatte im Wahljahr 2021

Understanding the Transformation Processes in Heavy Industry

Report of the REINVENT project published

Design of Strategy Processes for Ambitious National Climate Protection

Article published on findings from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways network

International Energy Policy Required

Climate compatible energy supply is not enough to overcome challenges

New Paths to Policy Crediting

JIKO Policy Paper 04/2018: Challenges and opportunities of policy-based cooperation under article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Phasing-out Coal, Reinventing European Regions

Coal mining phase-out in Europe: analysis published

Transition to Low-Carbon Cities

Article on the development of a framework and its application to the Cologne metropolitan area

Deep Decarbonisation of Energy Systems in Europe

Tracking sectoral progress

On a Pathway to Decarbonisation

A comparison of new passenger car CO2 emission standards and taxation measures in the G20 countries

Divestment is a Coming Global Trend

New factory magazine in English

Decarbonisation Pathways for the Port of Rotterdam Region

Measures to facilitate a profound decarbonisation of the port area

Realising Long-Term Transitions towards Low Carbon Societies

Impulses from the 8th Annual Meeting of the International Research Network for Low Carbon Societies

Human Rights and the Clean Development Mechanism

Lessons learnt from three case studies

Pathways to a Global Deep Decarbonization

2015 Synthesis report of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP)

A Vision for a Resource Efficient Europe

Online-article in the European Journal of Futures Research


Here you find research activities in the field of decarbonisation.

Related projects

Cookie Settings

Cookies help us to constantly improve the website for you. By clicking on the "Allow cookies" button, you agree to the use of cookies. For further information on the use of cookies or to change your settings, please click on More about the use and rejection of cookies.