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2050 pathways - keep it simple

25 June 2019, 13:25 BST 3 min read

Oswaldo Lucon, Climate Change Adviser, São Paulo

Long-term decarbonisation: the importance of decision making

The 2015 Paris Agreement is the most important global instrument for climate action and policy. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) were the first step for national governments to pledge to keep global temperatures well below 2°C. Under the agreement, countries are expected to uplift their ambition by 2020. To date, 11 countries have done so.

States and regions play a key role in this process, which requires coordinated efforts and mutual understanding. They can enhance their efforts by joining the Under2 Coalition, a network of state and regional governments, committed to the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, representing more than 1.3 billion people and over 43% of the global economy.

How do we get there?

The Climate Group, as the Secretariat of the Coalition, promotes two initiatives to assist regional governments towards these objectives through the Future Fund and the 2050 Pathways Workstream. These provide opportunities for governments to partner, share knowledge and engage in peer learning, for development of a pathway towards long-term decarbonization.

Exchange with Wales

My conversation with the Welsh Government began quite informally at the Under2 Coalition General Assembly in California in 2018. We discussed the 2050 Pathways Tool developed by the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and both found it to be a reliable and practical concept and tool, with already a considerable global outreach, including in Brazil.

Outcomes from the secondment

During my visit to Wales in 2019, we compared model outputs from Wales and São Paulo and discussed how to improve and provide means to further outreach this tool to other Under2 Coalition members willing to start a 2050 Pathways process. There, I could work on a more accurate definition of the 2050 Pathways tool, as well as its pros and cons.

Besides comparing the 2050 outcomes, my visit allowed me to better understand the Welsh Government´s newly released low carbon plan. The secondment was also very fruitful in terms of mutual understanding on how both governments work, their goals and strategies. We identified a lot of common ground, which we hope to take forward with the Under2 Coalition.  

I learnt a lot from my peers in the Welsh Government during the visit and I greatly appreciated Wales for making this possible. I believe that there is a huge potential to be explored for all Under2 Coalition governments through various means such as workshops, webinars, side events and technical visits. Hence, my testimonial is that physical presence is fundamental for advancing climate policy implementation. This is the best bit about secondments.

Practical results will be presented at the next United Nations Climate Change conference, COP25 in Santiago. Hope to see you all there. We have got the will; now we need to put into action.


“The Future Fund has provided a unique opportunity for us, in the Welsh Government, to share our knowledge with the region of Sao Paulo on our 2050 model. Hosting the international visit has facilitated a valuable exchange of ideas between Wales and São Paulo, with a specific focus on our approaches to long-term pathways modelling. It has allowed us to see our own work from a different point of view and identify areas which we can expand and adapt to get more out of our tool. It was a pleasure to host and we would recommend the process to all states and regions to not only share their expertise but to also learn from others.”

Calum Shaw, Welsh Government


In particular, I’d like to thank Lucy Corfield (Head of Decarbonisation), Sam Clemmens (Senior Evidence Adviser), Josh Beeson (Assistant Economist), Emanuela Piga (PhD Student from Cardiff University), Robert Bailey (Carbon Budget Strategy Manager), Monjur Mourshed (Professor of Sustainable Engineering at Cardiff University), Lori Frater and Stuart Lyden (International Cooperation), Rob Knowles (Climate Adaptation and Well-Being) and Calum Shaw (Welsh Carbon Budget Strategy).

For more information:

Oswaldo Lucon, Climate Change Adviser, The São Paulo State Secretariat for Infrastructure and Environment, Brazil, https://www.infraestruturameioambiente.sp.gov.br/en, [email protected]

Calum Shaw, Carbon Budget Strategy, Welsh Government, https://gov.wales, [email protected]