Today, a new major step was taken in the inevitable transition to a net zero-GHG, climate resilient and sustainable development future, through the launch of the 2050 Pathways Platform.
The Paris Agreement was a key turning point in this transition. And the speed at which the ratification process happened was another testimony to the strong political will to accelerate this transition.
But there is a long way from agreeing on a long-term collective goal and setting individual targets to reduce GHG emissions by 2025 or 2030, and actually doing what it takes to capture the benefits of this transition.
This challenge will only be addressed if we act boldly and collectively. And this is precisely the challenge the 2050 pathways platform aims to address.
The platform will support countries seeking to develop long-term, deep decarbonization strategies, including through the sharing of resources (finance, capacity building), knowledge and experiences. It will also build a broader constellation of cities, states, and companies engaged in long-term low-emissions planning of their own, and in support of the national strategies. Essentially, it will be a space for collective problem-solving.
Long-term strategies have a critical role to play in this transition. Having a good plan is never a sufficient condition for success, but not having one is always a recipe for failure.
2050 pathways are a way to backcast and extrapolate from the long-term goal of reaching the balance between the sources and sinks of GHG emissions as soon as possible, and look at the ways in which we can grow our economies and businesses and meet our citizens needs within the constraints of the deep GHG emission reductions by mainstreaming climate actions within socio-economic development strategies.
They are an essential tool to identify how to capture the benefits of the transition to a net zero-GHG and climate-resilient sustainable development pathway, and avoid carbon lock in. They are also a critical tool to identify the needs for international cooperation, on policy, finance and technology.
22 countries have started or will soon start a process of preparing a 2050 pathway. Already 15 cities, through C40 and ICLEI, 17 states, regions and cities, through the Under2 coalition, and 196 businesses, through the We Mean Business Coalition and the Science Based Target initiative, are also committed. It is our expectation that many others will join.
It is our expectation that this number will grow rapidly, and that preparing 2050 pathways will soon become the norm. It is also our hope that 2050 pathways will play a role in the 2018 facilitative dialogue, and the subsequent global stocktakes.
Transitioning to a net zero-GHG and climate-resilient future while delivering on the SDGs is one of the biggest, but also the most exciting challenges the world has ever faced. But through the launch of the 2050 Pathways Platform, we are convinced that this is a challenge that will be successfully addressed.