Waisman, H. et al. (2019). A pathway design framework for national low greenhouse gas emission development strategies. Nature Climate Change 9, 261–268 (2019)
The Paris Agreement introduces long-term strategies as an instrument to inform progressively more ambitious emission reduction objectives, whilst holding development goals paramount in context of national circumstances. In the lead up to COP21, the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project developed mid-century low-emission pathways for 16 countries, based on an innovative pathway design framework. In this Perspective we describe this framework and show how it can support the development of sectorally and technologically detailed and policy-relevant country-driven strategies consistent with the Paris Agreement climate goal. We also discuss how this framework can be used to engage stakeholder input and buy-in; design implementation policy packages; reveal necessary technological, financial and institutional enabling conditions; and support global stock-taking and ratcheting of ambition.