Dr. Christoph Bertram

Senior Scientist
Guest researcher

Christoph is Associate Research Professor at the University of Maryland's Center for Global Sustainability (CGS), and guest researcher at PIK.

From 2019-April 2023, he led 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 net-zero targets,
  • broader sustainability impacts of mitigation pathways,
  • how to use mitigation scenarios to assess economies' and companies' transition risks.

During the last years at PIK, he had leading roles in the international projects NGFS and ENGAGE and was contributing author for chapters 3 and 15 of IPCC's sixth assessment report 6 (AR6).


Working Group

Curriculum Vitae

PDF document Full Version — PDF document, 194 KB


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


Center for Global Sustainability (CGS)
School of Public Policy
University of Maryland (UMD)

Thurgood Marshall Hall
7805 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742, USA


Peer reviewed

  • Pachauri, S., Pelz, S., Bertram, C., Kreibiehl, S., Rao, D., Sokona, Y., and Riahi, K. (2022): Fairness considerations in global mitigation investments. Science . 10.1126/science.adf0067.
  • Hickmann, T., Bertram, C., Biermann, F., Brutschin, E., Kriegler, E., et a. (2022): Exploring Global Climate Policy Futures and Their Representation in Integrated Assessment Models. Politics and Governance . pag.v10i3.5328.
  • Franz, S., Rottoli, M., Bertram, C. (2022): Wide range of possible aviation demand futures after the COVID-19 pandemic. Environmental Research Letters . 10.1088/1748-9326/ac65a4.
  • Malik, A., Bertram, C. (2022): Solar energy as an early just transition opportunity for coal-bearing states in India Environmental Research Letters . 10.1088/1748-9326/ac5194.
  • Luderer, G., Madeddu, S., Merfort, L., Ueckerdt, F., Pehl, M., Pietzcker, R. et al. (2022): Impact of declining renewable energy costs on electrification in low-emission scenarios. Nature Energy, 1-11 . 10.1038/s41558-021-01218-z.
  • Riahi, K., Bertram, C., Huppmann, D., Rogelj, J., Bosetti, V., Cabardos, A.M. et al. (2021): Cost and attainability of meeting stringent climate targets without overshoot. Nature Climate Change, 1-7 . 10.1038/s41558-021-01215-2.
  • Drouet, L., Bosetti, V., Padoan, S.A., Aleluia Reis, L., Bertram, C., Dalla Longa, F. et al. (2021): Net zero-emission pathways reduce the physical and economic risks of climate change. Nature Climate Change, 1-7 . 10.1038/s41558-021-01218-z.
  • Malik, A., Bertram, C., Kriegler, E., Luderer, G. (2021) Climate policy accelerates structural changes in energy employment. Energy Policy 159, 112642 . 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112642.
  • Martin, M.A., Sendra, O.A., Bastos, A., Bauer, N., Bertram, C., Blenckner, T. et al. (2021): Ten new insights in climate science 2021–a horizon scan. Global Sustainability, 1-39 . 10.1017/sus.2021.25.
  • van Soest, H.L., Aleluia Reis, L., Baptista, L.B., Bertram, C., Després, J., Drouet, L. et al. (2021) Global roll-out of comprehensive policy measures may aid in bridging emissions gap. Nature Communications 12 (1), 1-10 . 10.1038/s41467-021-26595-z.
  • Hasegawa, T., Fujimori, S., Frank, S., Humpenöder, F., Bertram, C., et al. (2021). Land-based implications of early climate actions without global net-negative emissions. Nature Sustainability . 10.1038/s41893-021-00772-w.
  • Baumstark, L., Bauer, N., Benke, F., Bertram, C., Bi, S., Gong, C., Dietrich, J.P., et al. (2021). REMIND2.1: Transformation and innovation dynamics of the energy-economic system within climate and sustainability limits. Geoscientific Model Development . 10.5194/gmd-14-6571-2021.
  • Soergel, B., Kriegler, E., Weindl, I., Rauner, S., Dirnaichner, A., Ruhe, C., Hoffmann, M., Bauer, N., Bertram, C., et al. (2021). A sustainable development pathway for climate action within the UN 2030 Agenda. Nature Climate Change . 10.1038/s41558-021-01098-3.
  • Bertram, C., Riahi, K., Hilaire, J., Bosetti, V., Drouet, L., Fricko, O., et al. (2021). Energy system developments and investments in the decisive decade for the Paris Agreement goals. Environmental Research Letters . 10.1088/1748-9326/ac09ae.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 55.10.1016/j.trd.2017.03.005.
  • 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, 55.10.1016/j.trd.2016.04.003.
  • 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, 55.10.1016/j.trd.2016.07.003.
  • 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.


  • Richters, O., Bertram, C., Kriegler, E., Anz, J., Beck, T., Bresch, D., et al. (2022): NGFS Climate Scenarios Database - Technical Documentation V3. NGFS scenario portal
  • Bertram, C., Edenhofer, O., Luderer., G.(2021): A Path to Zero. IMF F&D
  • Bertram, C., Hilaire, J., Kriegler, E., Beck, T., Bresch, D., Clarke, L. et al. (2021): NGFS Climate Scenarios Database - Technical Documentation V2NGFS scenario portal
  • 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

  • Study in Science on mitigation investments in Der Standard und beim ORF (both in German)
  • On COP 27 on Deutschlandfunk, radioeins, NDR, SWR2, and Welt (paywall) (all in German)
  • On COP 26 in stern (paywall, in German)
  • On the IEA Net Zero 2050 report at Spiegel Online (in German)
  • 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)