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This proposal is based on Pathways to Deep Decarbonzation, a report prepared by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project.



This seed proposal is based on Pathways to Deep Decarbonzation, a report prepared in 2015 by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP). The proposal was prepared by a member of the Climate CoLab staff. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating new proposals of their own. DDPP has not reviewed or endorsed this proposal. 

DDPP is a collaborative global research initiative to understand how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy consistent with the internationally agreed goal of limiting anthropogenic warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C).

It was convened under the auspices of the the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

DDPP consists of research teams from 16 countries that account for 74 percent of current global CO2 emissions from energy: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

The country teams include researchers from leading institutions in their respective countries, acting independently; they do not represent the official positions of their national governments.

Key features of the decarbonization pathways laid out in DDPP's synthesis report include:

  • CO2 emissions from energy decrease between 2015 to 2015 from more than 24 gigatons (Gt) of CO2 to less than 10 Gt in 2050, a reduction of nearly 60 percent.
  • Emissions per unit of GDP go down by 80 to 96 percent in the DDPP countries. 

The country pathways all relied on three pillars of energy system transformation:

  • energy efficiency and conservation: energy intensity of GDP is reduced by 65 percent overall in the DDPP countries between 2015 and 2050; 
  • decarbonizing electricity and fuels: the electricity sector almost completely decarbonized by 2050, with a 93 percent reduction in it carbon intensity  
  • switching end uses to low-carbon supplies: liquid fuels are almost entirely replaced by 2050 through electrification and/or use of biomass or synthetic fuels such as hydrogen.   


The DDPP pathways are compatible with reaching a 2 degree target, but achieving that goal will likely require comparable levels of decarbonization by non-DDPP countries.

Achieving the pathways will require investments in low carbon energy technologies of between 0.8 and 1.3% of GDP between 2020 and 2050. This will not represent a significant increase in investment in energy technology, but rather, a shift from investment in fossil fuel technologies to low carbon energy technologies.

Total change in overall energy costs by 2050 for DDPP countries will range from a 1 percent in the US to a slight decrease in some countries, such as Australia.

International agreements that will allow cleantech to achieve scale economies will be important in reducing the costs of efficiency and low carbon energy technologies. 

In addition to addressing climate change, decarbonization pathways will produce other significant benefits, in particular, improvements in public health due to reduction of air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion and increased energy security.


Which plan do you select for China?

Seed Proposal: Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project in China

Which plan do you select for India?

Seed Proposal: Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project in India

Which plan do you select for the United States?

Seed Proposal: Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project in the United States

Which plan do you select for Europe?

Seed Proposal: Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project in the European Union

Which plan do you select for other developing countries?

Seed Proposal: Deep Decarbonization Pathways in Other Developing Countries

Which plan do you select for other developed countries?

Seed Proposal: Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in Other Developed Countries

What additional cross-regional proposals are included in your plan, if any?

How do the regional and cross-sectoral plans above fit together?

This proposal plans to link to proposals in the National/Regional Workspace that reflect the pathways developed for individual countries and regions by the DDPP. 

Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

The EMF-27 model was used, and variables were selected to align with the DDPP report's projections about future policy and technology trends:

  • Policies in place to achieve 450 parts per million atmospheric concentrations of CO2
  • Energy efficiency increases at nearly double historical rates
  • All low carbon energy supply technologies are available

These resulted in reductions in CO2 emissions from energy by 2050 in line with those in the DDPP report.  



What are the plan’s key benefits?

What are the plan’s costs?

What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?



DDPP, Pathways to Deep Decarbonization , 2015 Synthesis Report, Executive Summary

DDPP, Country Reports, 2015