» What is “Deep Decarbonization”?

What is “Deep Decarbonization”?


Deep decarbonization describes the qualitative transformation of contemporary western energy economies necessary to achieve emissions reductions sufficient to limit man-made global warming to 2ºC or less by 2050. Deep decarbonization is operationalized through “backcasting,” an approach that starts with a scientifically-based objective (e.g., an 80 x 50 target) and works backward to understand the sequence of physical changes required to achieve it (see What is a Deep Decarbonization Pathway? below). This entails bottom-up assessments of infrastructure and technology needs over time, across all sectors of the energy economy, at a level of detail sufficient to move policy beyond the setting of aspirational targets toward grappling with the concrete challenges of implementation.

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