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Environment, Energy, Infrastructure

IW scientists in the Environment, Energy, Infrastructure competence area study the interaction between the economy and the environment.

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Their work is based on the conviction that Germany can only achieve sustainable development if climate protection is instituted efficiently, energy is made available in an affordable, safe and environmentally friendly form and business has access to natural resources. If this can be achieved, companies can take advantage of the market opportunities and locate their future development in Germany.

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Sections of the Research Unit

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Cooperation Partners

  • Wirtschaftskammer Österreich
  • Avenir Suisse
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Frontier Economics
  • Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universität zu Köln
  • Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie
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Thilo Schaefer

Dr. Thilo Schaefer

Head of Cluster Digitalisation and Climate Change

Tel: +49 221 4981-791
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Sarah Fluchs

Dr. Sarah Fluchs

Economist for Environment, Circular Economy and Sustainability

Tel: +49 221 4981-838
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Adriana Neligan

Dr. Adriana Neligan

Senior Economist for Green Economy and Resource Economics

Tel: +49 30 27877-128
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Thomas Puls

Thomas Puls

Senior Economist for Transport and Infrastructure

Tel: +49 221 4981-766
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Finn Arnd Wendland

Finn Arnd Wendland

Consultant for energy and climate policy

Tel: +49 221 4981-798
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Studies and contributions

52 results
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Definitions and Documentation Principles
IW-Trends No. 2 30. May 2022

Climate Investments: Definitions and Documentation Principles

Sarah Fluchs / Adriana Neligan / Finn Arnd Wendland

Achieving climate neutrality requires investment in technologies which protect the climate from global warming and necessitates a process of transformation in all sectors of the economy.


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Digitalisation as a driver of circular economy business models
External Publication 23. May 2022

Circular disruption: Digitalisation as a driver of circular economy business models

Adriana Neligan / Rupert J. Baumgartner / Martin Geissdoerfer / Josef-Peter Schögg in Business Strategy and the Environment

New circular business models can evolve at all stages of the life cycle of a product. Digitalisation can drive disruptive innovations, new business models and novel ways of collaboration and thus can accelerate the economic transition to more resource-efficient and circular production systems.


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How circular are companies?
IW-Report No. 27 20. May 2022

Circular Business Models: How circular are companies?

Sarah Fluchs / Adriana Neligan / Carmen Schleicher / Edgar Schmitz

On the way to climate neutrality, the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy plays an important role. Resource cycles can be implemented in different ways in companies.


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Identification of key transformation professions on the basis of the EU taxonomy
IW-Report No. 22 14. May 2022

Identification of key transformation professions on the basis of the EU taxonomy

Finn Arnd Wendland

The economic transformation to carbon neutrality increasingly produces various forms of pressures in different job areas and on the labour market, especially in energy- and emission-intensive manufacturing industries.


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Survey-based results on the expected effects of the German Supply Chains Act
IW-Report No. 8 23. February 2022

Effects of a supply chain regulation

Galina Kolev / Adriana Neligan

The European Commission is planning a new regulation for mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (Due Diligence Directive) as part of the Sustainable Corporate Governance initiative. The long-awaited EU proposal is expected to have requirements that go far beyond the German Act on Due Diligence in Supply Chains (the so-called Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz), which was regarded as a possible blueprint for a European solution. The present paper contributes to the debate on an EU due diligence regulation by presenting results of a recent survey conducted by the German Economic Institute (IW) on the potential impact of the already adopted German Act on Due Diligence in Supply Chains.


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Disrupted Production, Price Rises and Pandemic Policies
IW-Trends No. 4 29. November 2021

IW Economic Forecast Winter 2021: Disrupted Production, Price Rises and Pandemic Policies

IW-Forschungsgruppe Gesamtwirtschaftliche Analysen und Konjunktur

In the course of 2021 Germany’s economic recovery has once again perceptibly lost momentum. After the strain brought about at the beginning of the year by the lockdown for the second and third waves of the Covid19 pandemic, manufacturing and construction companies are now struggling with a shortage of materials, while higher prices for fossil fuels are imposing an additional burden.


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How waste shipments contribute to protecting the environment
Sarah Fluchs / Adriana Neligan IW News 17. November 2021

Circular economy: How waste shipments contribute to protecting the environment

The European Commission aims at further reducing illegal waste exports and is therefore revising its regulations. Legal waste shipment is an important step towards an efficient circular economy: it reduces resource utilization and saves CO2.


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Recommendations to the new federal government
IW-Policy Paper No. 26 28. October 2021

What business needs to shape the transformation: Recommendations to the new federal government

Vera Demary / Jürgen Matthes / Axel Plünnecke / Thilo Schaefer

Germany is facing major structural challenges stemming from the four trends digitalisation, decarbonisation, demographics and de-globalisation. These trends occur simultaneously and cause additional demand for policy, especially at their interfaces, so that the transformation process can be shaped successfully.


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Green innovations in the basic materials industry in NRW
IW-Report No. 40 27. October 2021

Green innovations in the basic materials industry in NRW

Malte Küper / Oliver Koppel / Enno Kohlisch

Transforming the economy towards climate-neutrality poses major challenges for the energy-intensive primary industry in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). At the same time, the development of environmentally friendly basic materials and production processes presents a great potential for transforming NRW into an attractive industrial location for the future.


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6. Oct 6. Oct
Adriana Neligan Event 6. October 2021

Sustainable Finance: How to finance and achieve global decarbonisation

As governments across the world continue to face the challenge of tackling Covid-19, the current crisis also presents an unprecedented opportunity to reboot global economies in a manner that builds more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient societies, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.