Dr. Christoph Bertram

Senior Scientist
Lead International climate policy

Christoph leads the international climate policy team within the Energy Systems Group of PIK. He works on the representation of climate policies in coupled macroeconomic and energy system models to evaluate climate change mitigation strategies. His research interests include

  • interrelationship of mid-term climate policies and long-term policy goals, including questions of carbon lock-in,
  • national energy and climate policies and targets, including nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and mid-century strategies (MCS),
  • broader sustainability impacts of mitigation pathways,
  • how to use mitigation scenarios to assess economies' and companies' transition risks.

He studied Physics and Political Science at the Universities of Tübingen and Córdoba, Argentina, and holds a PhD in economics of TU Berlin. After working as WBGU research analyst for Professors Rahmstorf and Schellnhuber for one year, he joined the Energy Systems group of Research Department 3: Transformation Pathways in April 2011.


Working Group

Curriculum Vitae

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Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 20764
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


Peer reviewed

  • Bertram, C., Luderer, G., Creutzig, F., Bauer, N., Ueckerdt, F., Malik, A., Edenhofer, O. (2021): COVID-19-induced low power demand and market forces starkly reduce CO2 emissions. - Nature Climate Change, doi: 10.1038/s41558-021-00987-x.
  • Duan, H., Zhou, S., Jiang, K., Bertram, C., Harmsen, M., Kriegler, E., et al. (2021). Assessing China’s efforts to pursue the 1.5°C warming limit. Science 372, 378–385. 10.1126/science.aba8767.
  • Rafaj, P., Kiesewetter, G., Krey, V., Bertram, C., Drouet, L., et al. (2021): Air quality and health implications of 1.5–2°C climate pathways under considerations of ageing population: A multi-model scenario analysis. - Environmental Research Letters, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/abdf0b.
  • Bauer, N., Bertram, C., Luderer, G., Schultes, A., Klein, D., Kriegler, E., Popp, A., Edenhofer, O. (2020): Quantification of an efficiency–sovereignty trade-off in climate policy. - Nature 588, pages 261–266, doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2982-5.
  • Schaeffer, R., Köberle, A., van Soest, H., Bertram, C., Luderer, G., Riahi, K. et al. (2020): Comparing transformation pathways across major economies. - Climatic Change, 162, pages 1787–1803, doi: 10.1007/s10584-020-02837-9.
  • Malik, A., Bertram, C., Després, J., Emmerling, J., Fujimori, S., Garg, A., Kriegler, E., Luderer, G., Mathur, R., Roelfsema, M., Shekhar, S., Vishwanathan, S., Vrontisi, Z. (2020): Reducing stranded assets through early action in the Indian power sector. - Environmental Research Letters, 15, 9, 094091, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab8033.
  • Roelfsema, M., van Soest, H. L., Harmsen, M., van Vuuren, D. P., Bertram, C., den Elzen, M., Höhne, N., et al. (2020): Taking stock of national climate policies to evaluate implementation of the Paris Agreement. - Nature Communications, 11, 2096 doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15414-6.
  • Wang, H., Chen, W., Bertram, C., Malik, A., Kriegler, E., Luderer, G., Després, J., Jiang, K., Krey, V. (2020): Early transformation of the Chinese power sector to avoid additional coal lock-in. - Environmental Research Letters, 15, 2, 024007, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab5d99.
  • Fujimori, S., Hasegawa, T., Krey, V., Riahi, K., Bertram, C., et al. (2019): A Multi-Model Assessment of Food Security Implications of Climate Change Mitigation. - Nature Sustainability, 2, 5, 386–96, doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0286-2.
  • Oshiro, K., Gi, K., Fujimori, S., van Soest, H. L., Bertram, C., et al. (2019): Mid-Century Emission Pathways in Japan Associated with the Global 2 °C Goal: National and Global Models’ Assessments Based on Carbon Budgets. - Climatic Change, 162, 1913–1927, doi: 10.1007/s10584-019-02490-x.
  • Krey, V., Guo, F., Kolp, P., Zhou, W., Schaeffer, R., Awasthy, A., Bertram, C., et al. (2019): Looking under the hood: A comparison of techno-economic assumptions across national and global integrated assessment models. - Energy, 172, 1254-1267, doi: 10.1016/j.energy.2018.12.131.
  • Bertram, C., Luderer, G., Popp, A., Minx, J. C., Lamb, W. F., Stevanović, M., Humpenöder, F., Giannousakis, A., Kriegler, E. (2018): Targeted policies can compensate most of the increased sustainability risks in 1.5 °C mitigation scenarios. - Environmental Research Letters, 13, 6, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aac3ec.
  • Luderer, G., Vrontisi, Z., Bertram, C., et al. (2018): Residual fossil CO 2 emissions in 1.5–2 °C pathways. - Nature Climate Change, 8, 626-633, doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0198-6.
  • Vrontisi, Z., Luderer, G., Savyen, B., et al. (2018): Enhancing Global Climate Policy Ambition towards a 1.5 °C Stabilization: A Short-Term Multi-Model Assessment. - Environmental Research Letters, 13, 4, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aab53e.
  • McCollum, D. L., Zhou, W., Bertram, C., et al. (2018): Energy investment needs for fulfilling the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. - Nature Energy, 3, 589–599, doi: 10.1038/s41560-018-0179-z.
  • Kriegler, E., Bertram, C., Kuramochi, T., et al. (2018): Short term policies to keep the door open for Paris climate goals. - Environmental Research Letters, 13, 7, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aac4f1.
  • Jewell, J., McCollum, D., Emmerling, J., Bertram, C., et al. (2018): Limited emission reductions from fuel subsidy removal except in exporting regions. - Nature, 554, 229-233, doi: 10.1038/nature25467.
  • Edenhofer, O., Steckel, J., Jakob, M., Bertram, C. (2018): Reports of coal’s terminal decline may be exaggerated. - Environmental Research Letters, 13, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaa3a2.
  • Kriegler, E., Bauer, N., Popp, A., et al. (2017): Fossil-fueled development (SSP5): An energy and resource intensive scenario for the 21st century, - Global Environmental Change, 42, 297-315, doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.05.015.
  • Edelenbosch, O. Y., van Vuuren, D. P., Bertram, C., Carrara, S., Emmerling, J., Daly, H., Kitous, A., McCollum, D. L., Saadi Failali, N. (2017): Transport fuel demand responses to fuel price and income projections: Comparison of integrated assessment models. - Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 55.
  • McCollum, D., Wilson, C., Pettifor, H., Ramea, K., Krey, V., Riahi, K., Bertram, C., Lin, Z., Edelenbosch, O., Fujisawa, S. (2017): Improving the behavioral realism of global integrated assessment models: An application to consumers’ vehicle choices. - Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 55.
  • Edelenbosch, O., McCollum, D., van Vuuren, D. P., Bertram, C., Carrara, S., Daly, H., Fujimori, S., Kitous, A., et al. (2017): Decomposing passenger transport futures: Comparing results of global integrated assessment models. - Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 55.
  • von Stechow, C., Minx, J. C., Riahi, K., Jewell, J., McCollum, D. L., Callaghan, M. W., Bertram, C., Luderer G. (2016): 2°C and SDGs: United they stand, divided they fall? - Environmental Research Letters, 11, 3, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/034022.
  • Bertram, C., Luderer, G., Pietzcker, R., Schmid, E., Kriegler, E., Edenhofer, O. (2015): Complementing carbon prices with technology policies to keep climate targets within reach. Nature Climate Change, 5, 3, doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2514.
  • Riahi, K., Kriegler, E., Johnson, N., Bertram, C., et al. (2015): Locked into Copenhagen pledges - Implications of short-term emission targets for the cost and feasibility of long-term climate goals. - Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 90, Part A, 8-23, doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.09.016.
  • Bertram, C., Johnson, N., Luderer, G., Riahi, K., Isaac, M., Eom, J. et al. (2015): Carbon lock-in through capital stock inertia associated with weak near-term climate policies - Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 90, Part A, 62-72, doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.10.001.
  • Schwanitz, J., Piontek, F., Bertram, C., Luderer, G. (2014): Long-term climate policy implications of phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. - Energy Policy, 67, 882-894, doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.12.015.
  • Luderer, G., Bertram, C., Calvin, K., Cian, E. D., Kriegler, E. (2013): Implications of weak near-term climate policies on long-term mitigation pathways. - Climatic Change, 136, 1-14, doi: 10.1007/s10584-013-0899-9.
  • Luderer, G., Pietzcker, R., Bertram, C., Kriegler, E., Meinshausen, M., Edenhofer, O. (2013): Economic mitigation challenges: how further delay closes the door for achieving climate targets. - Environmental Research Letters, 8, 3, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034033.


  • Bertram, C., Hilaire, J., Kriegler, E., Beck, T., Bresch, D., Clarke, L. et al. (2020): NGFS Climate Scenarios Database - Technical Documentation. NGFS scenarios homepage
  • Hilaire, J., Bertram, C. (2020): The REMIND-MAgPIE model and scenarios for transition risk analysis A report prepared by PIK for the UNEP-FI Banking Pilot project (Phase 2). 10.2312/PIK.2020.006
  • Bertram, C. (2015): The effect of near-term climate policies on the achievability of ambitious long-term climate targets. - PhD Thesis, TU Berlin. pdf
  • MILES consortium (2015): Beyond the numbers: Understanding the transformation induced by INDCs. pdf

  • Interview with ZDF heute journal update on Climate Leaders Summit (in German)
  • Interview with Deutschlandfunk on Climate Leaders Summit (in German)
  • Study on power sector effects of COVID-19 was covered by inter alia the New York Times and Forbes
  • Interview with DW on Biden's climate policy
  • Interview with FAZ on COVID effects on working habits and environmental impacts (in German))
  • First scenario set for NGFS covered by inter alia Bloomberg and boerse.de (in German)
  • Interview with Focus on economic risks and opportunities of climate change mitigation for Germany (in German)