DIPOL- Deep Transformation Scenarios for Informing the Climate Policy Discourse

Start of Project 09/2018
End of Project 01/2022

The project aims to outline possible development paths for Europe and Germany that are consistent with limiting the rise in global average temperature to well below 2°C, as agreed in the Paris Agreement of 2015. Central to the project is a co-design of quantitative scenarios with key stakeholders from civil society, business and policy making. The exchange with stakeholders ensures both the societal relevance of the scenario building process and provides participating stakeholders with useful insights for their work and strategies by 2050. The pathways are primarily exploring:

  1. speed and depth of the transformation towards a low carbon society;
  2. sectoral bottlenecks of decarbonisation; and
  3. CO2 removal from the atmosphere to neutralize residual emissions.

The analysis of alternative climate change mitigation pathways is complemented by micro-simulations to explore distributional implications for households and possible regressive effects of climate change policies.

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Update on the project´s process

The project developed future scenarios and possible trans­formation path­ways for Europe and Germany to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 in collaboration with stakeholders from science, business and civil society. Stake­holders were involved in three workshops.
The jointly developed scenario narratives represent a range of possible futures in terms of technological, political and behavioural changes. 

  • The dimension "Technology and Innovation" describes the impact of limitations of certain technologies with lacking or limited societal acceptance, such as CCS, bioenergy, wind energy, or nuclear power.
  • The dimension "Policy Coordination" examines the differences between a market-based approach, which mainly relies on GHG pricing, and a sector-based approach, which pursues a combination of GHG pricing and targeted supportive sector policies - such as subsidies for electric cars, precision agri­culture or hydrogen pro­duction, but also bans on oil heating or new registrations of com­bustion engines. 
  • The dimension "Behaviour change" shows what a change in life­style towards lower energy demand and changed eating habits brings about.

The results summarised in the final project report indicate that all three dimensions - technology, policy and behaviour change - can make valuable contributions to reducing the trans­formation challenge.


J. Strefler et al. Wege zur Treibhausgas-Neutralität bis 2050. Der Einfluss von Politik, Technologie und Verhalten auf eine erfolgreiche Transformation. Abschlussbericht des Projektes DIPOL. Veröffentlichung am 26.01.2022

S. Sommer, C. Vance, Do more chargers mean more electric cars? Environ. Res. Lett. 16, 064092 (2021).

M. Frondel, C. Marggraf, S. Sommer, C. Vance, Reducing vehicle cold start emissions through carbon pricing: evidence from Germany. Environ. Res. Lett. 16, 034041 (2021).

A. Alberini, M. Horvath, C. Vance, Drive Less, Drive Better, or Both? Behavioral Adjustments to Fuel Price Changes in Germany (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3772854, Social Science Research Network, Rochester, NY, 2021), doi:10.2139/ssrn.3772854

E. Kriegler, R. Gulde, A. Colell, C. von Hirschhausen, J. C. Minx, P.-Y. Oei, P. Yanguas-Parra, N. Bauer, H. Brauers, L. H. Broska, E. Groh, A. Hagen, K. Hainsch, F. Holz, M. Hübler, M. Jakob, M. M. Khabbazan, M. Leimbach, N. Manych, M. Montes de Oca León, N. Ohlendorf, S. Osorio, M. Pahle, L. Reutter, H. Shamon, J. Steckel, J. Strefler, C. Vance, S. Vögele, G. von Wangenheim, P. Walk, I. Wittenberg, S. Zundel, Ausstieg aus fossilen Energieträgern - wie gelingt eine faire Systemtransformation (2020), doi:10.2312/pik.2020.004.