Carbon management


Remaining well below 2°C global mean temperature increase and pursuing efforts towards 1.5°C as laid out in the Paris Agreement requires net-zero emissions in the 2nd half of this century. In line with this target, more and more countries and regions are announcing greenhouse gas neutrality targets, e.g. the EU by 2050 and China by 2060. Achieving these targets requires deep emission reductions in all sectors as well as offsets of remaining emissions by carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere.

The team "Carbon Management" within the Working Group "Energy Systems" in the Research Department 3 "Transformation Pathways" aspires to respond to the need for pathways to emissions neutrality. We are especially interested in options to remove carbon from the atmosphere (carbon dioxide removal, CDR), and capture and storage of CO2 emissions (carbon capture, storage and usage, CCUS), comprising both biogenic and anthropogenic carbon flows. Biogenic carbon flows relate to all land-based carbon dioxide removal options such as re- and afforestation, soil carbon sequestration, and to bioenergy. Anthropogenic carbon flows relate mainly to CCUS technologies and direct air capture of carbon dioxide. Integrated energy-economy-landuse modelling provides quantitative insights into synergies and trade-offs between various CCUS and CDR technologies and with the energy and land-use system as well as environmental and societal impacts. The goal is to embed CCUS and CDR technologies into the general energy system transformation strategy under consideration of broader sustainability implications. Crucial questions for our research are:

  • What are miminum requirements for CDR, both globally and nationally?
  • What are the main determinants of these requirements?
  • How can sustainable CDR pathways look like?

Current projects:
Completed projects:

Key papers

  • Strefler, J., Kriegler, E., Bauer, N., Luderer, G., Pietzcker, R.C., Giannousakis, A., Edenhofer, O. (2021): Alternative carbon price trajectories can avoid excessive carbon removal. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22211-2
  • Strefler, J., Bauer, N., Kriegler, E., Popp, A., Giannousakis, A., Edenhofer, O. (2018): Between Scylla and Charybdis: Delayed mitigation narrows the passage between large-scale CDR and high costs.  Environmental Research Letters, 13, 4, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aab2ba.
  • Strefler, J., Amann, T., Bauer, N., Kriegler, E., Hartmann, J. (2018): Potential and costs of carbon dioxide removal by enhanced weathering of rocks.  Environmental Research Letters, 13, 3, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaa9c4.


  • Strefler, J., Kriegler, E., Bauer, N., Luderer, G. Pietzcker, R.C., Giannousakis, A., Edenhofer, O. (2021) "Alternative carbon price trajectories can avoid excessive carbon removal". Nature Communications 12, 2264.
  • Harmsen, M., et al., (2021) "Integrated assessment model diagnostics: key indicators and model evolution". Environmental Research Letters, accepted.
  • Baumstark, L., Bauer, N., Benke, F., Bertram, C., Bi, S., Gong, C., Dietrich, J.P., Dirnaichner, A., Giannousakis, A., Hilaire, J., Klein, D., Koch, J., Leimbach, M., Levesque, A., Madeddu, S., Malik, A., Merfort, A., Merfort, L., Odenweller, A., Pehl, M., Pietzcker, R.C., Piontek, F., Rauner, S., Rodrigues, R., Rottoli, M., Schreyer, F., Schultes, A., Soergel, B., Soergel, D., Strefler, J., Ueckerdt, F., Kriegler, E., Luderer, L. (2021) "REMIND2.1: Transformation and innovation dynamics of the energy-economic system within climate and sustainability limits ". Geoscientific Model Development, under review.


  • Schweizer, V.J., Ebi, K.L., van Vuuren, D.P., Jacoby, H.D., Riahi, K., Strefler, J., Takahashi, K., van Ruijven, B.J., Weyant, J.P. (2020) "Integrated Climate-Change Assessment Scenarios and Carbon Dioxide Removal". One Earth 3, 2.
  • Bauer, N., Rose, S.K., Fujimori, S., van Vuuren, D.P., Weyant, J., Wise, M., Cui, Y., Daioglou, V., Gidden, M.J., Kato, E., Kitous, A., Leblanc, F., Sands, R., Sano, F., Strefler, J., Tsutsui, J., Bibas, R., Fricko, O., Hasegawa, T., Klein, D., Kurosawa, A., Mima S., Muratori, M.(2020) "Global energy sector emission reductions and bioenergy use: overview of the bioenergy demand phase of the EMF-33 model comparison". Climatic Change 163, 1553–1568.
  • Bauer, N., Klein, D., Humpenöder, F., Kriegler, E., Luderer, G., Popp, A., Strefler, J. (2020) "Bio-energy and CO2 emission reductions: an integrated land-use and energy sector perspective". Climatic Change 163, 1675–1693.
  • Muratori, M., Bauer, N., Rose, S.K., Wise, M., Daioglou, V., Cui, Y., Kato, E., Gidden, M.J., Strefler, J., Fujimori, S., Sands, R.D., van Vuuren, D.P., Weyant,J. (2020) "EMF-33 insights on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)". Climatic Change 163, 1621–1637.
  • Rauner, S., Hilaire, J., Klein, D., Strefler, J., Luderer, G. (2020) "Air quality co-benefits of ratcheting up the NDCs". Climatic Change 163, 1481–1500.


  • Strefler, J., Bauer, N., Kriegler, E., Popp, A., Giannousakis, A., Edenhofer, O. (2018) "Between Scylla and Charybdis: Delayed mitigation narrows the passage between large-scale CDR and high costs". Enivronmental Research Letters 13, 4.
  • Strefler, J., Amann, T., Bauer, N., Kriegler, E., Hartmann, J. (2018) "Potential and costs of carbon dioxide removal by enhanced weathering of rocks". Enivronmental Research Letters 13, 3.
  • Rogelj, J., Popp, A., Calvin, K.V., Luderer, L., Emmerling, J., Gernaat, D., Fujimori, S., Strefler, J., Hasegawa, T., Marangoni, G., Krey, V., Kriegler, E., Riahi, K., van Vuuren, D.P., Doelman, J., Drouet, L., Edmonds, J., Fricko, O., Harmsen, M., Havlík, P., Humpenöder, F., Stehfest E., Tavoni, M., (2018) "Scenarios towards limiting global mean temperature increase below 1.5 °C". Nature Climate Change 8, 325–332.
  • Kriegler, E., Luderer, L., Bauer, N., Baumstark, L., Fujimori, S., Popp, A., Rogelj, J., Strefler, J., van Vuuren, D.P. (2018) "Pathways limiting warming to 1.5°C: a tale of turning around in no time?". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 37620160457.


  • Riahi, K., van Vuuren, D.P., Kriegler, E., Edmonds, J., O'Neill, B.C., Fujimori, S., Bauer, N., Calvin, K., Dellink, R., Fricko, O., Lutz, W., Popp, A., Cuaresma, J.C., Samir, KC., Leimbach, M., Jiang, L.W., Kram, T., Rao, S., Emmerling, J., Ebi, K., Hasegawa, T., Havlik, P., Humpenoeder, F., da Silva, LA., Smith, S., Stehfest, E., Bosetti, V., Eom, J., Gernaat, D., Masui, T., Rogelj, J., Strefler, J., Drouet, L., Krey, V., Luderer, G., Harmsen, M., Takahashi, K., Baumstark, L., Doelman, JC., Kainuma, M., Klimont, Z., Marangoni, G., Lotze-Campen, H., Obersteiner, M., Tabeau, A., Tavoni, M. (2017) "The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and their energy, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions implications: An overview". Global Environmental Change 42, 153-168.
  • Rao, S., Klimont, Z., Leitao, J., Riahi, K., van Dingenen, R., Reis, L.A., Calvin, K., Dentener, F., Drouet, L., Fujimori, S., Harmsen, M., Luderer, G., Heyes, C., Strefler, J., Tavoni, M., van Vuuren, D.P.  (2017) "A multi-model assessment of the co-benefits of climate mitigation for global air quality". Environmental Research Letters 11, 12.
  • Rao, S., Klimont, Z., Smith, S.J., Van Dingenen, R., Dentener, F., Bouwman, L., Riahi, K., Amann, M., Bodirsky, B.L., van Vuuren, D.P., Reis, L.A., Calvin, K., Drouet, L., Fricko, O., Fujimori, S., Gernaat, D., Havlik, P., Harmsen, M., Hasegawa, T., Heyes, C., Hilaire, J., Luderer, G., Masui, T., Stehfest, E., Strefler, J., van der Sluis, S., Tavoni, M. (2017) "Future air pollution in the Shared Socio-economic Pathways". Global Environmental Change 42, 346-358.
  • Kriegler, E., Bauer, N., Popp, A., Humpenoder, F., Leimbach, M., Strefler, J., Baumstark, L., Bodirsky, B.L., Hilaire, J., Klein, D., Mouratiadou, I., Weindl, I., Bertram, C., Dietrich, J.P., Luderer, G., Pehl, M., Pietzcker, R., Piontek, F., Lotze-Campen, H., Biewald, A., Bonsch, M., Giannousakis, A., Kreidenweis, U., Muller, C., Rolinski, S., Schultes, A., Schwanitz, J., Stevanovic, M., Calvin, K., Emmerling, J., Fujimori, S., Edenhofer, O. (2017) "Fossil-fueled development (SSP5): An energy and resource intensive scenario for the 21st century". Global Environmental Change 42, 297-315.

before 2017

  • Harmsen, M.J.H.M., van den Berg, M., Krey, V., Luderer, G., Marcucci, A., Strefler, J., Van Vuuren, D.P. (2016) "How climate metrics affect global mitigation strategies and costs: a multi-model study". Climatic Change 136, 203-216.
  • Lucas, P.L., Nielsen, J, Calvin, K., McCollum, D.L., Marangonid, G., Strefler, J., van der Zwaan, B.C.C., van Vuuren, D.P. (2015) "Future energy system challenges for Africa: Insights from Integrated Assessment Models". Energy Policy 86, 705‐717.
  • Gernaat, D., Van Vuuren, D.P., van den Berg, M., Calvin, K., Lucas, P., Luderer, G., Otto, S.A.C., Rao, S., Strefler, J. (2015) "Understanding the contribution of non‐non‐CO2 gases in deep mitigation scenarios". Global Environmental Change 33, 142-153.
  • Strefler, J., Luderer, G., Kriegler, E., Meinshausen, M. (2014): "Can air pollutant controls change global warming?". Environmental Science & Policy 41, 33-43.
  • Strefler, J., Luderer, G., Aboumahboub, T., Kriegler, E. (2014): "Economic impacts of alternative greenhouse gas emission
    metrics: a model-based assessment". Climatic Change 125 (3-4), pp 319-331.
  • Rose, S.K., Richels, R., Smith, S., Riahi, K., Strefler, J., van Vuuren, D. P. (2014): "Non-Kyoto radiative forcing in long-run greenhouse gas emissions and climate change scenarios". Climatic Change 123 (3-4), pp 511-525.
  • Steckel, J.C., Brecha, R.J., Jakob, M., Strefler, J., Luderer, G. (2013): "Development without energy? Assessing future scenarios of energy consumption in developing countries". Ecological Economics 90, pp 53-67.
  • Klein, D., Luderer, G., Kriegler, E., Strefler, J., Bauer, N., Leimbach, M., Popp, A., Dietrich, J.P., Humpenöder, F., Lotze-Campen, H., Edenhofer, O. (2013): "The value of bioenergy in low stabilization scenarios: an assessment using REMIND-MAgPIE". Climatic Change 123 (3-4), pp 705-718.


  Dr. Jessica Strefler
Team lead and Senior scientist

Anne Merfort
Doctoral Researcher
     Claudia Günther
Doctoral Researcher

(Photo by kazuend on Unsplash)