|Australia's deep decarbonisation pathway to 2050:|
Image from ClimateWorks Australia
The DDPP was launched by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) to demonstrate how countries can reduce emissions to limit global temperature increases below 2°C. So far, researchers in 15 countries covering 70% of global emissions have chosen to develop technically feasible national pathways for deep decarbonisation. Participating countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA. Researchers work independently from their respective governments.
In 2014, the DDPP released its first report showing the initial results from these studies. In aggregate, these countries identified the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from energy by 45% between 2010 and 2050, representing a 56% reduction in these emissions per capita and an 88% reduction in the carbon intensity of GDP. Countries could not achieve these reductions acting alone. In that regard, the studies adopted the following assumptions:
- All countries take strong, early, and coordinated actions to achieve deep decarbonization.
- All countries adopt adequate nationally appropriate policies, regulations, and incentives.
- Financial flows are re-directed from high-carbon to low-carbon portfolios and projects.
- Financial support is provided to developing countries as they appropriately require financial support to implement mitigation policies and finance low-carbon investments.
- Low-carbon technologies become available and affordable to all countries, for example through a technology cooperation mechanism and fund, which shares equitably the costs and benefits across countries.
In its 2014 report, the DDPP authors make two useful recommendations for a successful global agreement on climate change in Paris in December 2015:
- Country DDPs: A shared global commitment that each country will develop and make publicly available a (non-binding) DDP to 2050 that is consistent with the 2°C limit and their national circumstances. Official country DDPs (as distinct from illustrative DDPs, developed by researchers) would, hopefully, be predicated on a shared commitment to the global target and to all aspects of global cooperation needed to achieve it, including technology cooperation, financial support, and capacity building.
- Global, large-scale RDD&D of low-carbon technologies: A massive and sustained global international collaborative public-private effort to develop, demonstrate, and diffuse various low-carbon technologies that are not yet technically mature or economically competitive with fossil fuel based technologies, and are key to the success of deep decarbonization. A global technology cooperation and fund mechanism will also be necessary to make sure these technologies are accessible and affordable for all countries.
The DDPP invites researchers and organisations in other countries to join the initiative. This seems like an opportunity which New Zealand's talented and growing climate change research community should seriously consider.