The Wuppertal Institute has developed long-term climate protection scenarios for the Port of Rotterdam industrial cluster on behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The port area is home to about 80% of the Netherlands’ petrochemical industry and significant power plant capacities. The main goal of the project was to point out possibilities for a drastic reduction of the Port area’s greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century in accordance with the EU’s climate protection goals.

For this purpose, three different model-driven mitigation scenarios were developed. These scenarios differ, on the one hand, in the assumed level of ambition of the EU’s 2050 GHG emission reduction, and, on the other hand, in the assumed structural development of the industrial cluster located in the Port area. In the scenarios, the assumed level of the EU’s climate mitigation ambition influences the future market potential of the industrial cluster’s companies. For example, future demand for fossil fuels in the transport sector or for electricity from conventional coal power plants is assumed to differ depending on the stringency of climate mitigation efforts. The analysis focused on power plants, refineries and the chemical industry, which together are responsible for more than 90% of the Port area’s current CO2 emissions.

The developed scenarios were presented and discussed at two workshops with key stakeholders of the Port region, including representatives of companies and non-governmental organisations. In these workshops, the different scenarios as well as the individual mitigation strategies and technologies were discussed with respect to their feasibility and attractiveness. The results of these discussions then lead to a revision of the scenarios.

Based on the findings of the scenarios, recommendations for the Port Authority, the area’s companies and policymakers were derived. These recommendations for action are intended to show which measures should be taken at what time to facilitate a profound decarbonisation of the port area.

The final results of the project form a key basis for the development of a long-term decarbonisation strategy for the Port of Rotterdam.