Deep Decarbonisation - Emerging Issues

8 August 2016

The Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Project (DDPP) is a global initiative that aims to provide options for deep decarbonisation of our economy while still maintaining economic prosperity in a decarbonising world.   

A special issue of the journal Climate Policy focussing on the DDPP has just been released, including contributions by Associate Professor Frank Jotzo of ANU. 

What are DDPs?

Recent global climate negotiations, culminating with the Paris Climate Agreement, have entrenched three principles.   Firstly, we must limit temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels and ideally no more than 1.5°C.   Secondly, all economies need to reach close to zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century.  Thirdly, each country must define their own decarbonisation plan, depending on their circumstances.   These voluntary low-carbon development strategies are called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).   

DDPs are designed to analyse not just whether deep decarbonisation can be done, but also to demonstrate how it can occur.    As of 2016, researchers and institutions from sixteen industrialised and developing economies are involved.   ANU co-lead Australia’s contribution to the global DDPP together with ClimateWorks Australia

DDPs are at country scale, consider a long-term timeframe and provide detailed information on how deep decarbonisation can occur.   Given that full decarbonisation is required, DDPs use a backcasting approach, working backwards from the goal of a zero carbon economy and looking at what policy options are required to achieve it.   This helps to prevent dead ends in policy which may reduce emissions in the short-term but are not compatible with deep decarbonisation in the long-term. 

Climate Policy Special DDPP Issue

This special edition contains seven articles discussing methodologies and results of the DDPP studies and setting out directions to be followed for the next round of analysis.   Articles are divided into three sections:  the overarching methods and policy design of DDPs, incorporation of domestic policy circumstances and national analyses in a global concept.   Read more.

Find out more about the DDPP

ANU & ClimateWorks report - Pathways to deep decarbonisation in 2050: how Australia can prosper in a low carbon world.

Australia can get to zero carbon emissions, and grow the economy’, The Conversation, 23 September 2014

Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project official website

The first global report of the project was presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and to world leaders at the New York Climate Summit in September 2014


Updated:  30 July 2019/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact: