Pathways from Paris: assessing the INDC opportunity

At COP21 in Paris, 195 countries agreed to limit global warming to well below 2ºC and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5ºC. In advance, the participating countries submitted plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions – the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Every five years these plans will be updated with the first update due in 2018. Yet a number of studies have shown that the current INDCs will not limit global warming to well below 2ºC. This is, however, not surprising, given that countries were asked for the first time to develop national plans that decouple economic growth from carbon emissions. In this context, understanding in detail countries’ plans to transition to low-carbon societies should show where opportunities for accelerating these transitions might lie. With this in mind, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) asked Ecofys to analyse the INDCs of 16 countries and one region (the EU-28), which accounted for 78% of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2012. These INDCs cover both developed and developing countries, which for the purpose of this report include emerging markets. This report presents the main findings and their implications for energy decision makers.