Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


This proposal is based on Pathways to Deep Decarbonzation in the US, a report prepared by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project.



This seed proposal is based on Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United Statesa report prepared in 2015 by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP). The proposal was prepared by a Climate CoLab Fellow. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating new proposals of their own. DDPP has not reviewed or endorsed this proposal.

DDPP is a collaborative global research initiative to understand how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy consistent with the internationally agreed goal of limiting anthropogenic warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C).

It was convened under the auspices of the the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

The country teams include researchers from leading institutions in their respective countries, acting independently; they do not represent the official positions of their national governments.

The Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States considers the reduction of US GHG emissions in the year 2050 by 80% below 1990 levels, with overall net GHG emissions of no more than 1,080 MtCO2e, and fossil fuel combustion emissions of no more than 750 MtCO2., and analyzes how can this goal be achieved under four distinct decarbonization strategies, named after the main means of electricity generation adopted: High Renewable; High Nuclear; High CCS and Mixed Cases.

Achieving this level of emissions reduction is found to be technically feasible in all four scenarios. Deep decarbonization requires three fundamental transformations in the U.S. energy system:

1. High energy efficiency in buildings, transportation, and industry. Efficiency improvements by 2050 reduce energy demand 30-34% below the reference case, or 18-22% below 2014 levels. Energy intensity of GDP drops 70% - 2% annually-.

2. Decarbonization of electricity and other fuels by 90-97% , from 500 g CO2/kWh in 2014 to less than 15 g CO2/kWh in 2050.

3. Fuel switching of end uses to electricity and other low-carbon supplies, from their 20% share in 2010, to a 50% share in 2050.

Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?

Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

What are the plan’s key benefits?

What are the plan’s costs?

The predicted incremental cost to the energy system is around 1% of GDP, amounting to a median estimate of 0,8% of GDP by 2050. Although there is great uncertainty in these calculations, the cost is in any case deemed small compared to national income.

What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?


Related plans


The full DDPP report for the United States can be found here: