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In the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, more than 150 governments submitted plans to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 .The United States' INDC, for example, commits the U.S. to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 26-28 percent, relative to a 2005 baseline, by 2025 .They are debating, for example, whether the INDCs add up to a 25 or 30 percent reduction by 2030, and whether we need a 25, 30, or 40 percent reduction by then to be on track.But the most important issue is whether countries will achieve their 2030 targets in a way that helps them to get to zero emissions by 2070 (full decarbonization). Another low-hanging fruit is great gains in the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines, taking automobile mileage from, say, 56 kilometers per gallon in the U.S. to 88 kilometers per gallon by 2025 .Only the deep-decarbonization pathway gets the economy to the necessary stage of decarbonization by 2050 and to zero net emissions by 2070 .A key question for Paris, therefore, is not whether governments achieve 25 percent or 30 percent reductions by 2030, but how they intend to do it. For that, the Paris agreement should stipulate that every government will submit not only an INDC for 2030 but also a nonbinding Deep Decarbonization Pathway to 2050 .
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