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Helmholtz Climate Initiative (Cluster I): Net-Zero-2050, phase 2

The current German coalition agreement acknowledges the necessity of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. A long-term strategy for dealing with the unavoidable residual emissions is foreseen by the German government. One of the crucial research questions is: How do we deal with CO2 emissions that, despite all efforts, continue to be emitted to the atmosphere?

In phase 1 of Net-Zero-2050, Cluster I of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative, a catalogue of recommendations for action on how to get carbon dioxide removal (CDR) started in Germany was developed. The key message of all recommendations is: The short period until 2030 is crucial. CDR approaches must be researched and tested and the framework conditions must be created. Stepping forward in terms of implementation, necessary actions need to be reflected and discussed with relevant stakeholders. This project phase aims to ignite and excite a necessary political and social debate about CO2 utilization and storage in Germany, with a strong stakeholder involvement. An overall goal of this project phase is to build a network and prepare demonstration and pilot projects to be set up through cooperation within the Helmholtz Association to test technologies on a larger scale.

Net-Zero-2050 (phase 2) consists of three projects:

• Project 1’s core activity is the coordination, support and guidance of the interactions between the consortium’s experts and the stakeholders, pulling together the knowledge from the other two projects.
• Project 2 is the “technology-based” project. The project’s topics relate to direct electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 into fuels and chemicals, and assess options and potentials of combining temporary subsurface CO2 storage with geothermal heat harvesting.
• Project 3 is the “natural climate solutions” project and it is dedicated to rewetting peatlands in the region of Potsdam in Brandenburg.

The new Net-Zero-2050 network stands for a scientific exchange on negative CO2 emissions and CO2 neutrality. Interested parties - from science and practice - are invited to join. If you are interested, please contact us via e-mail.

Helmholtz Climate Initiative

The Initiative focuses on the two main clusters Net-Zero-2050 (mitigation) and Adapting to Extreme Events (adaptation). As part of five research projects in total, Helmholtz scientists are working towards advancing their climate research. In this second phase, they continue to cooperate closely to systemically research climate change, as climate change has many causes and affects many areas of our lives. To study the impacts of climate change and to develop models for solving these issues, the Helmholtz experts are working together at the intersections of many fields of research. Moreover, the Helmholtz Climate Initiative continues to engage in active dialog with society at large a special priority. Helmholtz wants to hold such dialog with key players from politics and business, the media, interested members of the public, and especially young people. In this respect, Helmholtz sees itself as an independent provider of up-to-date expert information based on scientific findings, one that seeks active communication with stakeholders to move forward on this major challenge together.


The publications published so far in Phase I of "Net-Zero-2050" can be found here

Further Information

Net-Zero-2050 Netto-Null-2050 Web-Atlas Helmholtz Climate Initiative


Fiona Köhnke

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 487

Fax: +49 (0) 40 226 338 163

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