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Other Developing Countries’ Climate Action Plan 2015


Question: What should be the Other Developing Countries’ plan to address climate change?
Submit Proposals:
Rules: All entrants must agree to the Contest rules and Terms of Use
Deadline: Saturday, Jul 18, 2015 at 23:59:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Judging Criteria & Prizes: See below.


This contest invites the global community to work together to develop coherent plans for how other developed countries as a whole – their governments, businesses, other organizations, and citizens – can take effective action to address climate change.

Working as an individual or in a team, you can select plans for each of the five major sectors of the economy and propose them as an effective set of actions that other developed countries can take to address climate change.  The five sectors are:  energy supply, transportation, industry, buildings, and all others (which specifically includes agriculture, forestry, and other land use, as well as waste management). With help from the Impact Assessment Fellows, you will be able to see your plan’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenario from 2020 to 2050, and compare that with a business-as-usual emission scenario. You should also select a plan for one other “sector” (called “adaptation”) that includes actions to adapt to changes caused by global climate change such as changing temperatures and rising sea levels.

No single organization–including the other developed countries' governments–could create and implement a complete climate action plan all by itself. Instead, successful action will require work by many different organizations and people.  

Articulating a vision for other developed countries as a whole has great potential value, since it can demonstrate that there is a plausible path forward. And such a vision can serve as a roadmap for the many disparate organizations and people whose efforts must be enlisted.

This contest is part of a pilot test of a new initiative in the Climate CoLab to develop integrated proposals for addressing climate change at the regional and global levels. Learn more.  If you have feedback on the approach, please let us know by sending email to

You are invited to discuss about strategies for creating regional and global climate action plans with the Climate CoLab community on the Forum:

Key Issues

Other developed countries include: Australia, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey.

Any comprehensive combination of actions to address climate change across a country or region must necessarily involve:

Judging Criteria

Plans will be evaluated based on:

Note: You are welcome to select proposals that did not win prizes or even become semifinalists in other contests.  You may, for instance, find proposals that were overlooked in the original judging of those contests or that have some special relevance when combined with other proposals in your overall plan. 


Judges' Choice and Popular Choice winners will receive a special invitation to attend selected sessions at MIT’s SOLVE conference and showcase their work before key constituents in a workshop the next day. A few select Climate CoLab winners will join distinguished SOLVE attendees in a highly collaborative problem-solving session.

In addition, if your other developed countries' plan is included in one or more winning global plans, you will receive Climate CoLab Points, and the top point-getters will receive shares of a cash prize of $10,000.

An integrated proposal (such as a regional or global plan) includes ideas from all the people who contributed to the sub-proposals, not just those who created the integrated proposal itself.   To recognize all these contributions, a winning integrated proposal receives CoLab Points that are distributed among all these people.  The top point-getters will receive shares of a cash prize of $10,000.  Read more.

Submission Format

Building the plan. Your plan should consist of a collection of actions, which, when taken together, could effectively address climate change in this region.

You can select actions from:

Your plan should include actions that will impact these six sectors: 

You will also be asked to: 


Tip:  When editing your proposal, use the proposal icon at the upper right of the toolbar select proposals. You can also use the hyperlink button to link in ideas from websites outside of the Climate CoLab. 


Evaluating impact. A key part of a climate action plan is an overall estimate of the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the combination of all the actions you propose, decade by decade, from 2020 to 2050.

See your proposal’s impact tab for guidance on how to estimate these emissions.  You can also work with the Climate CoLab Impact Assessment Fellows, who can help you use the impact tools on the platform. 


Resources for Proposal Authors

The Other Developed Countries contest provides a heterogeneous array of nations facing very different climatological threats, socioeconomic realities, energy systems, greenhouse gas sources, and political willingness to commit to ambitious climate targets. 

In Chile, climate change became a hot topic after seven years’ worth of rain fell on the Atacama Desert in just one day in March of 2015.  Soon after, the government submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (IDNC) to the United Nations, which is an outline of the country’s commitment to what actions they will take post-2020 under the new international agreement resulting from the UNFCC COP21 in Paris [1]. Chile's IDNC includes ambitious emissions reductions, a pathway to transitioning to clean technologies, and a plan to implement various climate adaptation measures [2]. 

Meanwhile, Turkey is balancing emission reduction commitments with its national priority to match the industrialization level of its OECD counterparts [3]. 

New Zealand also presents a unique case among developed nations wherein agriculture (notably livestock) is the largest source of emissions; this therefore requires a different approach on how to drastically cut emissions [4]. 

On the other side of the globe, Iceland’s ample hydro and geothermal resources allow it to produce negligible emissions from the energy industry, despite per capita GHG emissions similar to Germany’s [5]. 

South Korea intends to mollify emissions growth associated with its prolonged economic boom by cutting emissions by 30% relative to business-as-usual (BAU) by 2020 [6], an approach similar to Mexico’s INDC 2015 pledge [7]. 

Israel remains committed to the UNFCCC process, and while prioritizing increases in energy efficiency and renewable procurement, ; the country appears particularly concerned with the projected impacts to its desert climate [8]. 

Meanwhile, the fossil fuel-friendly federal governments of Australia and Canada have been labeled as hesitant to earnestly engage climate negotiations [9], and the Fukushima disaster in Japan has led to a shift in its energy supply (namely, the re-emergence in coal investment) and the imperilment of fulfilling previous, ambitious climate pledges [10]. 

This brief overview showcases some of the complexity in developing strategies which The plurality of national interests encompassed in the Other Developed Countries contest also gives way to a plethora of challenges in facilitating solutions to climate change issues. In Canada, for instance, despite considerable support for climate action among citizens and progress at the subnational level, the oil and gas industry is viewed by the federal government as a crux to sustained economic growth [11, 12]. Canadian government is thus averse to introducing any policies that may adversely influence the sector’s capacity to grow [12]. Likewise, the Government of Australia in recent years has been championing a decidedly pro-coal narrative, and appears to view climate policies as a threat to economic growth [13]. Meanwhile, the Governments of Mexico and Chile, which could be further classified as “emerging economies”, appear eager to slow the rate of emissions increases, but are concerned over financial capacities to do so [2, 7]. Each country has its own unique challenges to overcome to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while preparing for the projected impacts of climate change.

Taken as an aggregate, nations within the Other Developed Countries category are responsible for the following greenhouse gas emissions, broken down by sector [14]

As of June 2015, the following countries have submitted an INDC in advance of UNFCCC COP21 in Paris [15]:

Mexico: 25% below business as usual (BAU) by 2030, compared to 2013

Canada: 30% below 2005 levels by 2030

Iceland: Part of EU’s target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, precise commitment to be negotiated

Republic of Korea: 37% below BAU by 2030

As of June 2015, the following countries have yet to submit an INDC to the UNFCCC secretariat.  This means that they have not yet made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:





New Zealand


















[14] For an explanation of the data and sectors, see: