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The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative initiative to understand and show how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy and how the world can meet the internationally agreed target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). Achieving the 2°C limit will require that global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) approach zero by the second half of the century. In turn, this will require a profound transformation of energy systems by mid-century through steep declines in carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy, a transition we call “deep decarbonization.”

Organization

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) co-founded and lead the DDPP.

Currently, the DDPP comprises 15 Country Research Teams composed of leading researchers and research institutions from countries representing 70% of global GHG emissions and different stages of development: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA. We expect the number of Country Research Teams to grow over the coming months and years.

Several Partner Organizations contribute to the analysis and outreach of the DDPP, including the German Development Institute (GDI), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD). We invite other organizations to become DDPP partners and contribute to practical problem solving for deep decarbonization.

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Approach

Each Country Research Team develops a national Deep Decarbonization Pathway (DDP) analysis to 2050. The objective of this DDP analysis is to explore each country’s possible transition to a low-carbon economy, taking into account national socio-economic conditions, development aspirations, infrastructure stocks, resource endowments, and other relevant factors.

The first phase of the DDPP focuses on the technical feasibility of DDPs. The next phases will analyze in further detail how the twin objectives of development and deep decarbonization can be met through integrated approaches; quantify the costs and benefits of deep decarbonization; identify national and international financial requirements; and map out policy frameworks for implementation.

The DDPP also organizes technology roundtables on some of the key technologies for deep decarbonization globally. The objective of these roundtables is to contribute to the mobilization of a global public and private Research, Development, Demonstration and Diffusion (RDD&D) effort to drive directed technical change.

Timeline

The DDPP is an ongoing initiative that will issue periodic reports on deep decarbonization.

The DDPP is issuing this interim 2014 report to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in support of the Climate Leaders’ Summit at the United Nations on September 23, 2014. The complete 2014 DDPP report will be issued in September ahead of the Summit.

In the first half of 2015, the DDPP will issue a more comprehensive report to the French Government, host of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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