Our Pathways work supports governments to plan their path to achieving their long-term emissions reduction goal. As part of this work, we provide direct technical support and resources to governments.

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. (The Climate Group, 2019)

Why develop a pathway?

A pathway is an essential building block of a government’s climate strategy. By undergoing the key components of a pathway, governments will be able to develop a plan to set in place the fundamental steps required to achieve their long-term decarbonization goals.

The Climate Group has identified six key components of a pathway: 

  1. Vision - 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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 decarbonization 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 decarbonization goals.  
  5. 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.
  6. 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 leading Pathways project is the Climate Pathway Project.

Through this project, states and regions will be equipped to make more informed decisions on their decarbonization pathways. It will also support them to demonstrate their contribution to national government targets and inspire further climate action.


For more information, please contact:
Jean-Charles Seghers, Head of Transparency and Pathways, The Climate Group
Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon