Climate & Energy Accelerating the Transition to Net-Zero Emissions

The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commits all countries to keeping global mean temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels by the end of the century and to making efforts to limit the temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. For the first time in history, all countries recognize the need to peak global greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible” and to fully decarbonize their economies during this century to achieve net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, nearly ten years since its adoption, the world remains far off track meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The activities undertaken this decade will thus determine the feasibility, speed, and cost of the net-zero transition and our ability to achieve carbon neutral future.

The SDSN’s climate and energy work builds on the 2015 Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project in which national research teams from the 16 highest-emitting countries developed long-term pathways that informed the Paris Agreement and now guide national strategies towards decarbonizing energy systems. The program aims to facilitate action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector and provide nations with the research, network, and tools needed to meet this challenge.

Net Zero on Campus

With university net-zero commitments rising worldwide, the SDSN has developed the ‘Net Zero on Campus Initiative’ in collaboration with the Climateworks Centre, Monash University, Second Nature, and the EAUC. Together, they created a guide and accompanying online toolkit to help universities and colleges accelerate their climate action plans, while creating new communities of practice.

Decarbonization Pathways

Since its inception, SDSN researchers have developed novel research to provide jurisdictions with the pathways and tools they need to decarbonize their economies. These long-term decarbonization pathways are created at various scales across the world.

Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET)

Chaired by the SDSN and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), CEET is a global, high-level body of engineers and energy systems experts under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General, helping build the UN Secretary-General’s coalition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

ASEAN Green Future

ASEAN Green Future (AGF) is a joint project in partnership with the ClimateWorks Centre within Monash University and research groups in Southeast Asia that aims to inform ASEAN policymakers how sustainable, decarbonized economies offer enhanced economic development and more resilient futures for the region.

SDSN Global Climate Hub

Launched in 2022, the GCH provides science-based recommendations for combating the climate crisis and preventing further deterioration. It aims to scale and promote decarbonization solutions through the development and dissemination of country-specific action plans and toolkits.
Program Website

SDSN European Green Deal Senior Working Group

This working group, led by the SDSN’s President Jeffrey Sachs and Professor Phoebe Koundouri, convenes leading academics and stakeholders to mobilize expertise for the successful implementation of the European Green Deal.
Program Website

Global NDC Partnership

The SDSN is a member of the global NDC Partnership, a 200+ member coalition of countries and institutions working to deliver on ambitious climate action to achieve the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.
Program Website

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