Deep Transformation Scenarios for Informing the Climate Policy Discourse

Motivation: The Paris Agreement sets strong targets to prevent dangerous climate change and keep global mean temperature increase to well below 2°C. As explained by the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. Two milestones are particularly relevant for Germany and Europe: (i) the 2030 emissions reduction targets determining the speed of replacement of fossil fuel-based energy consumption with renewable based energy, and (ii) the mid-century transformation targets towards the long-term goal of an emissions neutral economy.

Aim: The project "Deep Transformation Scenarios for Informing the Climate Policy Discourse" (DIPOL) aims to develop climate change mitigation pathways for Germany and Europe that are consistent with these targets. As the achievement of the Paris objectives requires a holistic approach that involves all societal actors, the DIPOL project brings together the scientific community with key stakeholders from policy making, business and civil society to develop a set of “pathway visions” that incorporate stakeholder perspectives and are aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Tasks: At the core of the project is the iterative dialogue with stakeholder panels, composed by representatives from politics, business and civil society aimed at developing new and socially relevant scenarios. This is combined with a trade-off analysis of alternative 2°C climate mitigation pathways with the integrated REMIND-MAgPIE model, to look e.g. at the speed of transformation pathways, sectoral bottlenecks of decarbonisation and CO2 removal from the atmosphere to neutralize residual emissions. This analysis is complemented by micro-simulation studies of the distribution effect on private households in Germany. Research results developed in the project are integrated and made available to decision-makers from politics and business as well as from civil society and science via a strategy jointly developed with stakeholders.

Results: DIPOL will formulate concrete visions of transformation pathways, which are consistent with climate commitments and at the same time socially viable. These transformation pathways shall support decision-making processes and provide a direct contribution to various climate policy processes, including those related to the German Climate Action Plan 2050, the EU Decarbonization Pathways Initiative (EDPI) and the 2050 Pathways Platform of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC.

Duration: September 2018 – August 2021

Partners: PIK (Coordinator), adelphi, RWI

Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change: DIPOL is among the projects sponsored by the BMBF funding measure Economics of Climate Change II that aims to provide solution-oriented knowledge in the field of climate economics. To support transfer of knowledge and to intensify the exchange between scientists and practitioners, the funding measure is supported by the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change.