Background and issues
The Paris Agreement enacted two complementary dynamics for an ambitious action on climate, consistent with the aim of keeping global warming below the + 2°C threshold by end of the century:
- On the one hand, according to a bottom-up approach, the mitigation and adaptation commitments as well as the policies deployed in this respect fall to the national governments, who bear the responsibility to submit their national contributions to the global effort and to define the actions they intend to engage to achieve their objectives;
- On the other hand, non-state actors, notably private companies, have significantly contributed to the construction of a favorable dynamic, and were officially recognized for the first time within the framework of international negotiations.
These dynamics remain, however, too disconnected at this stage, and there is presently no device to support a constructive dialogue between governments and private companies.
The DDP ACT project aims to enhance the collective ambition of reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, by promoting the coordination between the ambitious commitments set by the states, and the strategies put forward by private companies.
It therefore seeks to build, illustrate and promote tools enabling a dialogue between private companies and governments, for a mutual enrichment of their low-carbon strategies, through the synergy between two pioneer initiatives:
- The Assessing low Carbon Transition (ACT) initiative,a project of ADEME (Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie – French Environment and Energy Management Agency.
- The Deep Decarbonization Pathways initiative (DDP), a project of IDDRITh is a pilot project, which it provides companies with ambitious decarbonization scenarios meant to be used as operational roadmaps. These tools are designed through a participative approach – gathering pilot companies, experts and local institutions– which is fully in line with the principles put forward by the international community during the negotiations of the Paris Agreement. Special emphasis is put on the ownership of assessment methods, enabling companies to monitor their progress toward the completion of the goals they have set for themselves. Two emerging economies, Brazil and Mexico, were chosen for the implementation of the project.
The project is also innovative as it combines two initiatives presenting unique features:
- To date, ACT is the sole initiative proposing sectoral assessment methods of companies’ contributions to decarbonization which uses verifiable quantitative and qualitative data (data collected through the Carbon Disclosure Project, with free access to the methodologies used).
- To date, DDP is the sole initiative developing a bottom-up approach for the design of decarbonization scenarios within the framework of an international project.
The project consists of four steps:
- Step 1 – Construction of sectoral decarbonization pathways:
The objective is to develop deep decarbonization pathways up to 2050, enabling the largest possible reduction of GHG emissions from various economic sectors in Mexico (electricity production, cement production and urban public transport) and in Brazil (electricity production, cement production and agriculture) so as to keep global warming below the + 2°C threshold.
- Step 2 – Assessment of local companies’ pathways:
The objective is to define a methodology for the assessment of the alignment of the strategies of Mexican and Brazilian companies with respect to the deep decarbonization pathways developed during the previous stage.
- Step 3 – Transfer and communication at national level:
This stage includescapitalization, dissemination, awareness raising and training actions performed throughout the project, in order to promote the spin-off replication of the approach and an optimal appropriation of the initiatives by national stakeholders. More generally, this stage will encourage dialogue about low-emission scenarios at national level.
- Step 4 – Communication at regional and international level:
This stage consists of communication activities which promote the inclusion of non-state stakeholders in the UNFCCC processes, in line with the international dynamic triggered by the Paris Agreement, as well as communication activities at regional level which encourage the replication of the approach in other South American countries.