RESCUE scenario GreenLife

GreenLife stands for “Germany – resource efficient and GHG neutral – lifestyle changes”. The scenario analyzes changes of lifestyle and behavior in addition to measures from GreenEe and GreenMe. Current trends as well as smaller niche developments for a more environmentally friendly behavior are examined.

Scenario characteristics

The scenario analyzes how changes of lifestyle and behavior, in addition to technical measures, influence GHG emissions and raw material consumption. Current trends as well as smaller niche developments for a more environmentally friendly behavior are scaled up to build this scenario.

The demand for durable and repairable products results in innovation in the production- and service sectors. The willingness of each individual to switch to sustainable lifestyles leads to a reduction in the demand for large living space and the retrofitting of larger homes into sub-units. Shared housing options are widely accepted and implemented. The share of multi-family homes in the building inventory increases. As a result, the demand for per-capita living space decreases and land-take is already reduced to 10 ha/day by 2030 and moves towards net zero until 2050. Resource-efficient construction is widely implemented and the share of wooden buildings increases. 

With regards to mobility, domestic flights are becoming less attractive and by 2050 only ground transportation takes place within Germany (for both private and business trips). Holiday flights to international destinations are increasingly replaced by domestic trips and as a result flight traffic in 2050 is only slightly above 2010 levels. Increasing urbanization results in the use of fewer cars. Instead, a mix of public transport, walking and biking, and ridesharing is used. Electro-mobility and electrified public transport outside of urban centers is widely implemented by 2050. As a result, the use of private vehicles in urban areas is negligible by 2050. 

Increased awareness of environmental and health issues is an important factor for moving towards more sustainable diets. Food waste is avoided as far as possible and regional and seasonal foods are processed. Animal products are consumed much faster than in the other Green-scenarios, so that livestock in Germany decreases faster and more strongly. The technical measures, such as the transformation of the energy system or the integration of new efficient technologies in industry, mobility and buildings, are the same as in GreenEe1 and GreenEe2.

Scenario results

The scenario succeeds in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by almost 97 percent by 2050 compared to 1990. If natural sinks are taken into account through sustainable agriculture and forestry (LULUCF), net zero emissions can be safely achieved. On the way there, a reduction in GHG of almost 63 percent will be achieved in 2030 and of around 82 percent in 2040 compared to 1990 (excluding LULUCF).

The final energy demand (excluding the non-energy demand of the chemical industry) can be reduced from 2,500 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2015 to just under 1,200 TWh by 2050. The share of renewable energies will increase to 75 percent by 2030 and to 92 percent by 2040. In terms of fuel supply, it will amount to 7 percent in 2030 and 23 percent in 2040. By 2050, fossil fuels will no longer be used in all areas.

In addition to the measures and lifestyle changes of the GreenEe-scenario, GreenLife assumes further ambitious lifestyle changes such as space-efficient construction and the associated reduction in per capita living space compared to today, the preference for durable and repairable products and the main use of goods within the framework of sharing offers. As a result, the use of primary raw materials can be reduced by 63 percent by 2050 compared to 2010.