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Which Pathways to limit global warming to 2 ° C?

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The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a network of exchange and knowledge dedicated to the decarbonisation of the economy set up in October 2013. It includes 15 teams of French researchers who are all responsible to imagine indicative roadmap to complete the ecological transition.

Under the project, a first interim report has been published by IDDRI (Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations) and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (NSDS), which presents the first analysis of trajectories devised in order to achieve the goal of global warming below 2 ° C by 2100.

The report first summarizes the main findings of international studies already conducted on the subject. Researchers particularly recall the urgency to act against global warming, which means to set up development models using less carbon intensive. But keep warming below 2 ° C suppose to achieve, by 2050, at an average CO2 emission of 1.6 tonnes against 5.2 tonnes today. Drastic changes will be needed, and the steps being taken today at the national level will be insufficient to achieve them.

However, according to researchers at the DDPP, the limit of 2 ° C is not impossible to achieve and therefore remains an objective, given the dramatic consequences of a greater warming. Therefore, they identified 15 trajectories of deep decarbonisation "technically feasible" to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% by 2050. These actions are based on three main levers: energy efficiency and energy saving; the use of renewable energy for electricity generation; replacing fossil fuels.

Some of these actions involve technologies that are not yet mature today, such as electricity storage, electric vehicles or biofuels synthesis. Then they will be declined in each country as part of overall strategies for socio-economic development.

Finally, researchers make recommendations for international negotiations to be held in 2015 as part of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They put particular emphasis on the need to plan for long-term horizons to estimate the magnitude of the actions to be implemented.

However, it is unfortunate that the approach of DDPP is mainly based on technological progress, and is not interested in the role of changes in lifestyles and social innovations.

Source : Pathways to Deel Decarbonization, intérim 2014 report. URL : http://www.iddri.org/Publications/Pathways-to-deep-decarbonization-Interim-2014-Report