Climate pathways

Providing technical support and resources to assist governments to develop long-term emissions reduction plans.


What is a pathway?

A pathway starts with the government’s long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goal, and then works backwards to identify the technologies, infrastructure and investments that will be required to achieve it.

In collaboration with government agencies, the process helps policymakers set intermediate milestones to reach the goal, and better understand the costs, risks, trade-offs and co-benefits associated with different policy approaches.

The result is a series of tailored options that explore the potential pace at which emission reductions can be achieved, and their social and economic implications within the jurisdiction. 

A pathway is an essential building block of a government’s climate strategy.

Six components of a climate pathway


A pathway should be built with a government’s long-term emissions reduction target and social and economic objectives in mind. As the Secretariat of the Under2 Coalition, the Climate Group advises governments to at least commit to the targets set out the Under2 MOU.

Societal participation

Stakeholder buy-in is necessary throughout the process and we encourage input from civil society, industry and the public when determining the preferred option(s).

Governmental integration

To gain support for building the pathway, and continuity for the implementation of the selected policies and actions, it is essential to involve a variety of government agencies in the process.

Scenario modelling

Analytical approaches and modelling tools should be selected for their ability to serve the region’s vision and to produce tailored region-wide or economy-wide decarbonisation options. Modelling should not only be a theoretical exercise of projecting future emissions but lead to a set of realistic options that can be adopted by government and accepted by key stakeholders to achieve long-term decarbonisation goals.  

Review and feedback

Once the pathway has been drafted and stakeholder consultations have taken place, it is important to plan a feedback and review process.

Co-benefits and trade-offs

Co-benefits and trade-offs represent the ways that climate policies interact with other public policy goals that a jurisdiction may have. Assessing these impacts will help to secure further buy-in from government and society helping to align policies.

Our pathways projects


Climate Pathway Project

The Climate Pathway Project supports state and regional governments to develop a transformational process, or ‘pathway’, to reducing emissions.

To find out more, contact

Jean-Charles Seghers, Head of Transparency and Pathways, the Climate Group