Guide to Berlin's climate neutrality by 2030

This guide is published by Goodfuture

You can download our guide here
Download the guide

On March 26, 2023, a referendum will be held in Berlin on the question of whether Berlin should become climate neutral by 2030. This analysis by Goodfuture's "Think & Do Platform" therefore analyzes the current state of research and planning in order to provide an assessment of how the goal of climate neutrality can be achieved by 2030.

The document is to be understood as a living working document. Experts from various disciplines will provide their assessment of the possibilities and implementation requirements. The measures will be detailed on an ongoing basis and will be mirrored with the Good-future community.

Climate-neutral living and doing business is a complex challenge. In the simplest terms, climate neutrality means that greenhouse gas emissions and sinks neutralize each other. Berlin's goal must therefore be to reduce emissions as much as possible and increase sinks at the same time. This is where the "Think & Do Platform" would like to make concrete proposals.

There is a need for active control, planning and steering in all areas. These should be specifically geared towards a possible controllability of the climate crisis, including the financing of corresponding measures. In order to achieve climate neutrality, established instruments can be used, the combination of which is sensible and necessary: control through enabling, bids and bans, scaling through positive and negative incentives, taking responsibility through one's own actions. It is important to differentiate between climate neutrality and zero emissions. In general, the first steps of greenhouse gas reduction are easier than the last. In most sectors, up to 90% of greenhouse gas reductions can be achieved efficiently. The last 10% often pose a particular challenge - for example, dealing with dark periods of several weeks in the electricity sector, completely climate-neutral heating of old houses or a fully circular economy. In the short time frame up to 2030, it may be more efficient in individual cases to reduce the emissions of a sector by 90-95% and offset the remaining emissions via greenhouse gas sinks. Such an approach would be climate-neutral without achieving zero emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions are caused by various emitters. For the purposes of this study, they are divided into the following sectors:

1 Energy supply
2 Facility heating
3 Traffic & Mobility
4 Economy & Industry
5 Other (agriculture, waste management, consumption, etc.)
6 Greenhouse gas sinks/land use

Greenhouse gas sinks result primarily from land use. Peatlands, grassland and forests store greenhouse gases in the long term. Agricultural land can also act as a sink if managed appropriately but currently generally represents an emitter.