Habitat Unit

Senior Researcher

Dr. Oliver Lah

Dr Oliver Lah fin


+49 (0)30 2887458-16

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Oliver Lah leads the Urban Change Maker Group at the TU Berlin, which is an international capacity building programme for young professionals working on urban development issues. He is head of the Mobility and International Cooperation research unit at the Wuppertal Institute and coordinates the SOLUTIONSplus project, which supports urban electric mobility in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Oliver is also the Coordinator of the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) and UN-Habitat’s Urban Pathways partnership. Oliver has worked with international organisations, such as the OECD/ITF, UN-Habitat, UN Environment, UNDP and GIZ on urban mobility and climate change issues. He was a lead author for the fifth IPCC Assessment Report and was a member of the Habitat III Policy Unit on Urban Services and Technology. He teaches at the universities of Berlin and Rotterdam Prior to that Oliver worked for the New Zealand government, the University of Munich and the Minister of State to the German Federal Chancellor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science, a Master of Environmental Studies from Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD in Urban Ecology from Technical University.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Urban Ecology, Technische Universität Berlin, Cities as engines for mobility transitions

Master of Environmental Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, The Climate for Change

Bachelor of Arts with Honours, Political Science, Victoria University of Wellington

Bachelor of Arts History, Political Science, Economics, Humboldt University Berlin

Employment History+

Since January 2011
Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
Head of Research Unit – Mobility and International Cooperation

Since June 2016
Managing Director - Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI)

June 2013 – December 2018
Consultant, Urban Basic Services
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

September 2016 – January 2017
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

August 2015 – October 2016
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

June 2014 – May 2016
Consultant, Water, Energy, Transport Division (part-time)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

September 2013 – May 2016
Research Fellow (part-time)
Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU), Freie Universität Berlin

August 2008 – November 2010
Senior Adviser (Strategy and Planning)
New Zealand Ministry of Transport

September 2009 – October 2009
Seconded national expert
International Transport Forum (ITF)

September 2007 – March 2008
Adjunct Lecturer
Qingdao University of Science and Technology

September 2004 – July 2008
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Applied Policy Research (CAP), Ludwig-Maximillians-University Munich

August 2001 – August 2004
Parliamentary Adviser
Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor / Minister for Europe

March 2001 – August 2001
Research Assistant
German Bundestag

Research Projects+

Since 2019
Urban Change Maker Group
Knowledge Sharing Facility on Urban Basic Services in the Context of Integrated Urban Development

Teaching Activities+

since 2017
Technische Universität Berlin
Urban Management

since 2015
Erasmus University, Rotterdam
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

2013 - 2016
University of Hagen

2012 - 2014
Munich University of Applied Sciences
General and Interdisciplinary Studies

2008 - 2010
Sino-German School of Postgraduate Studies
Tongji Universiy

Qingdao University of Sciene and Technology


Peer-reviewed journal papers and books

Figueroa, M. Lah, O. (2019) What do we know about the role the human dimension plays in shaping a sustainable low-carbon transport transition? In Marta A.R. Lopes Carlos Henggeler Antunes Kathryn B. Janda (eds.) Energy and Behaviour - Towards a Low Carbon Future, Elsevier, Amsterdam

Lah, O. (2018) Sustainable Urban Mobility Pathways, Elsevier, Amsterdam

Lah, O., Lah, B. (2018) Pathways Towards Decarbonising the Transportation Sector (Pages 51-61) in Müller, B., Meyer, G. (eds.) Towards User-Centric Transport in Europe,  Springer Nature,  Heidelberg.

Lah, Oliver (2018), ‘Managing the Transition to Industry 4.0 through Multilevel Governance Systems’, in Anbumozhi, Venkatachalam and F. Kimura (eds.), Industry 4.0: Empowering ASEAN for the Circular Economy, Jakarta: ERIA, pp.307-324.

Wilts, Henning, O. Lah and L. Galinski (2018), ‘The Evolution of Industry 4.0 and its Impact on the Knowledge Base for the Circular Economy?’, in Anbumozhi, Venkatachalam and F. Kimura (eds.), Industry 4.0: Empowering ASEAN for the Circular Economy, Jakarta: ERIA, pp.106-126.

Lah, O. (2016), ‘Circular Economy Policies and Strategies of Germany’,in Anbumozhi,V. and J. Kim (eds.), Towards a Circular Economy: Corporate Management and Policy Pathways. ERIA Research Project Report 2014-44, Jakarta: ERIA, pp.59-74

Lah, O. (2017). Continuity and Change: Dealing with Political Volatility to Advance Climate Change Mitigation Strategies—Examples from the Transport Sector. Sustainability, 9(6). 

Lah, O. (2017).  Decarbonising the transportation sector: policy options, synergies and institutions to deliver on a low-carbon stabilisation pathway, WIREs Energy and Environment, Volume 6 Issue 5,  DOI:10.1002/wene.257 

Lah, O. (2016). Factors of Change: The influence of policy environment factors on climate change mitigation strategies in the transport sector. Transportation Research Procedia, 25, 3499–3514.

Lah, O. (2016). Sustainable development synergies and their ability to create coalitions for low-carbon transport measures. Transportation Research Procedia, 25, 5088–5098.

Yang, Z. Mock, P. Lah, O. (2017). On a pathway to de-carbonization–A comparison of new passenger car CO2 emission standards and taxation measures in the G20 countries, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

Fulton, L, Mejia, A., Arioli, M., Dematera,K., Lah, O., (2017) Climate Change Mitigation Pathways for Southeast Asia: A Comparison of Energy-related NDC Targets and Strategies for Six ASEAN Countries,  Sustainability, 9(6) http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/special_issues/emerging_economies

Lah, O. (2017) Pathways for Urban Development: the role of urban basic services in delivering on the New Urban Agenda, Smart City, ENEA, DOI 10.12910/EAI2017-019, http://eai.enea.it/archivio/smart-city

Rudolph, F., Black, C. Glensor, K., Hüging, H., Lah, O., McGeever, J. Mingardo, G., (2015) “Decision-Making in Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning : Common Practice and Future Directions.” World Transport Policy and Practice 21 (3): 54–64, http://worldtransportjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/29th-Oct-opt.pdf

von Stechow, C., D. McCollum, K. Riahi, J. C. Minx, E. Kriegler, D. P. van Vuuren, J. Jewell, C. Robledo, E. Hertwich, M. Tavoni, S. Mirasgedis, O. Lah, J. Roy, Y. Mulugetta, N. K. Dubash, J. Bollen, D. Ürge-Vorsatz, O. Edenhofer (2015). Integrating global climate change mitigation goals with other sustainability objectives: a synthesis, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 40, 363-394).


Lah, O., (2015) The Barriers to Low-carbon Land-transport and Policies to overcome them, European Transport Research Review, 7:5 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12544-014-0151-3.

Lah, O. et al. 2015. Transferability of Sustainable Urban Transport Solutions. CODATU 2015. www.codatu.org/wp-content/uploads/Oliver-Lah_Transferability-1.pdf.

Figueroa, M. Lah, O., Fulton, L., McKinnon, A. Tiwari G. (2014) Energy for Transport, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 39: 393-418 http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-environ-031913-100450.

Hüging, H., Glensor, K. and Lah, O. 2014. Need for a Holistic Assessment of Urban Mobility measures–Review of Existing Methods and Design of a Simplified Approach. Transportation Research Procedia 4: 3–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trpro.2014.11.001

Fulton, L. Lah, O., Cuenot, F. (2013) Transport Pathways towards a 2 Degree Scenario, Sustainability (Special Issue: Sustainable Cities) www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/5/1863

Emberger, G. Arndt, W-H., Schäfer, T. Lah, O., Tomaschek, J. (2013) Transport in Megacities of Tomorrow, 13th WCTR, 2013 – Rio de Janiero.

Lah, O., Hampel, T., Büse, D. & Xu, L. (2008). New Energy - New Teaching Methodologies in China. In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2008, Chesapeake, VA. http://www.editlib.org/p/27560

Sims R., R. Schaeffer,  F. Creutzig,  X. Cruz-Núñez,  M. D’Agosto,  D. Dimitriu,  M.J. Figueroa Meza,  L. Fulton,  S. Kobayashi,  O. Lah,  A. McKinnon,  P. Newman,  M. Ouyang,  J.J. Schauer,  D. Sperling,  and G. Tiwari,  2014: Transport. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovern- mental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer,  O.,  R. Pichs-Madruga,  Y. Sokona,  E. Farahani,  S. Kadner,  K. Seyboth,  A. Adler,  I. Baum,  S. Brunner,  P. Eickemeier,  B. Kriemann,  J. Savolainen,  S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow,  T. Zwickel and J. C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, NY, USA. https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter8.pdf

Edenhofer, O. et al. (2014) Technical Summary. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J. C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cam- bridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. (Contributing Author)

Lah, O., Bei, X. Sohr, A. Glensor, K. Hüging, H. Valek, V. (2014) METRASYS, Sustainable Mobility for Mega Cities, in Arndt, W-H, Emberger (eds.) Megacities of Tomorrow: Mobility and Transport, Jovis Publishing: Berlin.

Lah, O., Bei, X. Sohr, A. (2013) Transferability and finance of sustainable transport solutions, in Arndt, W-H, Emberger (eds.) Megacities of Tomorrow: Mobility and Transport, Jovis Publishing: Berlin.  http://www.jovis.de/media/pdf/FMC5_SpacePlanningDesign.pdf

Lah, O. (2009). The climate for change: The conditions for effective climate change policies, VUW, Wellington. 

Lah, O. (2009). 欧洲气候变化, (Changing the Climate) Tongji University Press, Shanghai.

Lah, O. (2008). New Energy, Climate Change Policies in the European Union, Tongji University Press, Shanghai.

Lah, O. and Rappenglück S. (2007). Europas Klima wandeln Changing Europe’s Climate, Teaching Methods for Political Education, European Parliament, German Office, Berlin.

Policy Papers

Lah. O,  Kodukula, S, Shrestha, S. (2019) Transition to Sustainable Mobility: Pathways, Policies, Co-benefits and Opportunities of Low Carbon Transport Future, UNCRD,  https://www.uncrd.or.jp/content/documents/793812th%20EST%20Forum-Background%20paper%202%20for%20Pre-Event%201-Santhosh%20et%20al..pdf

Lah, O. (2018) (Ed.) Urban Pathways Policy Papers https://www.urban-pathways.org/publications.html

UN 2016, HABITAT III Policy Paper on Urban Services and Technology, (lead author) ,   http://habitat3.org/wp-content/uploads/event_media/0ZZCTP-qonlWgIZgElx.pdf

Arsenio, E. ; Arioli, M.; Amaral, M.; Lah, O.; Caccia, L. (2016).Using the Sustainable Mobility Planning Tool to Accelerate Urban Sustainability Transitions: sharing experiences between Europe and Latin America, 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns.

Lah, O. (2016)  Evaluation of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative Phase I and the Global Automotive Fuel Economy Campaign of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) managing vehicle growth in eight transitional countries  UN Environment Evaluation Office.

Lah, O. (2015)  Sustainable development benefits of low-carbon transport measures,  Guidance for policy makers on the political potential of co-benefits,  http://transferproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/giz_TRANSfer_2015-_Sustainable-developement-benefits-of-low-carbon-transport-measures_web.pdf    

UN-Habitat and UNEP (2015) Habitat III Issues Paper, Transport and Mobility (contributing author) http://dialogues.habitat3.org/file/498406/download/542880

Eckermann, A., Henkel,A., Lah, O., Eichhorst, U., Daniel Bongardt, Wuertenberger, L. (2015) Navigating Transport NAMAs. A practical handbook on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in the transport sector. 2nd revised edition. Eschborn, Germany.  http://transferproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/giz_TRANSfer_t-NAMA_Handbuch_2015_online.pdf 

Rudolph, F., Black, C., Glensor, K., Hüging, H. Lah, O., McGeever, J., Plevnik, A., Shergold, I. and Streng, M. (2014) How Urban Transport Projects Are Appraised: Current Practice in the EU; a Common Practice Reader.

UN (2014)  Action Plan Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI), (contributing author) http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/09/TRANSPORT-Action-Plan-UEMI.pdf

Lah, O. et al. (2014) Land transport’s contribution to a 2°C target, Key Messages on the mitigation potential and financing of low-carbon land transport for climate change policy makers, Bridging the Gap, http://transport-namas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Land-transports-contribution-to-a-2C-target-11-11-14-FINAL.pdf

Lah, O., Koska, T. Müller, M. Hüging, H. (2013) Progress Toward Low-Carbon Transport: Experiences from Germany, Report for the Swedish Commission on fossil-free road transport, Wuppertal. http://www.sou.gov.se/fossilfri/

Lah, O. Dossier on Aviation and Maritime Transport and Climate Change (2013) BpB http://www.bpb.de/gesellschaft/umwelt/klimawandel/198754/see-und-luftverkehr

Hüging, H., Glensor, K.  Lah, O.  (2013) Methodologies for cost-benefit and impact analyses in urban transport innovations, TIDE Working Papers, Polis: Brussels.

Lah, O., Müller, M., Hüging, H., Schäfer-Sparenberg, C., Sohr, A., Bei, X. (2012) Traffic management in the context of sustainable urban transport, Metrasys Working Paper, Wuppertal. http://www.metrasys.de/medien/document/METRASYS-working-paper-sustainable-traffic-management.pdf

Lah, O., Li, Z. Xu, L. (2011). Hefei 2030, scenarios for transport energy consumption in a Megacity of Tomorrow, Metrasys Working Paper, Wuppertal. http://www.metrasys.de/medien/document/METRASYS_Hefei_2030_Transport_in_a_Megacity_of_Tomorrow.pdf

März, S. Lah, O. (2012) Moving towards Sustainability, Wellington’s achievements and what the city can learn from others, Report for the Wellington City Council, Wellington/Wuppertal.    

Lah, O. (2011) Regional Cooperation for Accelerating Low Carbon Green Growth – a European Perspective, ADBI, Tokyo.            

OECD/ITF (2010). Greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies in the transport sector, OECD, Paris (co-author). http://www.internationaltransport¬forum.org¬/pub/pdf/08ghg.pdf

Ministry of Transport (2010). Understanding Transport Costs and Charges, Social and environmental costs MoT, Wellington (co-author) http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/Documents/UTCC_Phase_2_literature_review_on_valuation_methodologies.pdf

Ministry of Transport (2010). Connecting New Zealand: a summary of the government’s policy direction for transport, MoT, Wellington (co-author)

Ministry of Transport (2009). Strategic Policy Issues for Transport, MoT, Wellington (lead author).

Professional and Academic Affiliations+

Lead Author, Working Group III, Fifth Assessment Report, Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), 2010-15

Policy Unit Expert for Urban Services and Technology, Habitat III in preparation of the New Urban Agenda, 2015-2016

Temporary Advisor, Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, Covenant of Mayors, 2017

Member of the working group on greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies for the transport sector, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) / International Transport Forum (ITF) 2009-2011

Member of the Working group on Climate Change and Green Asia (ADB, ADBI), 2011-2012

Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organisation Working Group on Climate Change and Health 2014

Member of the Board of Directors of the SLoCaT Foundation, Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport 2014-16

Member of the ERIA Working Group Greening the Industrial Economies: Corporate Management and Change Pathways 2015- 2016

Member of the Planning Committee of the EU-US Symposium on Transport and Climate Change (European Commission and Transportation Research Board) 2016-2017