Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Berlin
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Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Berlin

Policy Brief
Climate Change Center Berlin Brandenburg

Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Berlin

Policy Brief 02
Climate Change Center Berlin Brandenburg

Dorothea Kistinger, Steffen Lohrey, Felix Creutzig
Technische Universität Berlin, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change


In order to evaluate climate policy measures in a timely manner, up-to-date greenhouse gas emissions data is required. However, statistics for the State of Berlin are published several years after the fact. A new open policy paper from the Climate Change Center presents a concept for estimating Berlin’s greenhouse gas emissions on a monthly basis. The researchers attach great importance to the availability of relevant data.


“The timely approximation of greenhouse gas emissions is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of climate policy measures and making targeted adjustments as needs be,” explain the authors of the study, Dorothea Kistinger and Steffen Lohrey. Data from different sources could be used to approximate greenhouse gas emissions from the various sectors in real time. Co-author Professor Dr. Felix Creutzig adds: “For example, collaborating with chimney sweeps and their trade associations is crucial. Their insights into the energy consumption of residential and commercial buildings are central to us gaining a comprehensive inventory of the emissions the heating sector generates.” The introduction of an automated data transfer platform would simplify the use of this data. As for the transport sector, a regular survey of gas station sales would provide information on fuel consumption and the resulting emissions. That said, this would require an amendment to the Act on Energy Statistics. In addition to fuel consumption, measurements from traffic counters and anonymized data from the Jelbi app could also be used to identify current trends in traffic behavior.


Implementation of the proposed concept would be a practical addition to the current practice, which determines fuel consumption retrospectively. The study outlines how Berlin’s greenhouse gas emissions could be estimated within a few weeks, well before the official emissions balance sheet is published. One potential follow-up step is to implement the proposed concept using a dashboard.

Read the policy paper

Picture: Philipp Arnoldt

Prof. Dr. Felix Creutzig


Prof. Dr. Felix Creutzig
Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change