DDPP Informs US Climate Strategy
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
Article 4, paragraph 19, of the Paris Climate Agreement states that "all Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies." It was an undersung inclusion in the agreement as people fixated on near-term strategies and targets, but we always argued for its importance as a tool to illustrate both the challenges and opportunities for countries looking to decarbonize their economies.
Today, the US, in potentially one of its final acts of international climate leadership, and in accordance with Article 4 that they championed, issued the report titled the US Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization. We are proud of the role we, as the USDDPP, have played in championing many of the strategies contained in the report including an emphasis on the three pillars of deep decarbonization: energy efficiency, electrification, and decarbonization of electricity generation.
The report is important, not just for guiding thinking within the US on decarbonizing the economy, but as a model to the world. It emphasizes the need for transparent assumptions; regular updating to account for technology or policy evolution; detailed sectoral analysis to render the emissions trajectories concrete and actionable; and inclusive processes that leverage stakeholders to inform strategy development. It is bittersweet, in many ways, that this is being left as the parting gift of the first US administration to honestly grapple with the challenges of decarbonization. However, we hope that this report, along with the hundreds that will follow, inspires those cities and states in the US that are taking climate action with the knowledge that they are not alone.