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 ACT-DDP 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 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, carried out by ADEME (Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie - French Environment and Energy Management Agency;
- The Deep Decarbonization Pathways initiative (DDP), carried out by the Iddri (Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales - French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations).
The project is exemplary as 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. A strong attention is paid to the appropriation of assessment methods, which enables companies to monitor their progress toward the completion of the goals they have set. Two emerging countries, 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 stages:
- Stage 1 - Construction of sectoral decarbonization pathways:
The objective is to develop deep decarbonization pathways at the 2050 horizon, enabling the largest possible reduction of e GHG emissions from various economic sectors in Mexico (electricity production, cement production and urban public transports) and in Brazil (electricity production, cement production and agriculture) so as to keep global warming below the + 2°C threshold, in various;
- Stage 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;
- Stage 3 - Transfer and communication at national level:
This stage comprises capitalization, 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 aim at encouraging the dialogue about low-emission scenarios at national level;
- Stage 4 - Communication at regional and international level:
This stage comprises communication activities whose goals will be to promote the inclusion of non-state stakeholders in the negotiation process of the UNFCCC, in line with the international dynamic triggered by the Paris Agreement, as well as communication activities at regional level in order to encourage the replication of the approach in South America.