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Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, England. Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash

Zero CO2: here is the handbook to cut emissions

Each country, region, city or private firm can curb greenhouse gases emissions with measures aligned with socio-economic priorities while supporting the sustainable development agenda. The last issue of Nature Climate Change presents a handbook that shows the required steps towards this objective.

The authors, member of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways (DDP) network, show how to build concretely, in different national contexts, strategies towards zero emissions that go hand-in-hand with sustainable development.

Among the researchers involved in this international study, Ramiro Parrado, CMCC researcher at CMCC@Ca’Foscari, the new research center on climate change of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and RFF – CMCC – European Institute on Economics and the Environment.

“The paper”, researcher Ramiro Parrado explains, “is the result of the contribution of the several research teams that participated to the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) and reviews a research realized in the lead up to COP21 to develop decarbonization pathways for 16 countries.”

Henri Waisman, lead for DDP initiative at IDDRI, first author of the paper, says: “In all the countries we have analysed, we have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve “deep decarbonization” by 2050, and to do so in a way that meets each country’s socio-economic priorities."

"The key methodological challenges identified, Ramiro adds, are:

  1. taking into account the key uncertainties affecting a specific country under consideration;
  2. providing quantitative assessments based on flexible and inclusive modelling approaches;
  3. ensuring the comparability of assessments across countries;
  4. using an iterative pathways design to identify the options for the decarbonization of the economy.

All these elements are combined in an integrated framework for pathways design, encouraging stakeholder communication and learning, enabling the assessment of compliance with national development and global emissions goals, and providing concrete support to policy formation in the context of the Paris Agreement.”

This will have important implications for the revision of all countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020, and the formal stocktake under the UNFCCC in 2023.