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Tanzania Ambition gap

What is Tanzaniaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

1.5°C compatible pathways

In its updated NDC (July 2021), Tanzania aims to reduce GHG emissions by 30-35% by 2030, equivalent to around 0-7% below 2014 levels including LUUCF.1 This translates in emissions of 12% below to 24% above 2015 levels excluding LULUCF.12

Analysed 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathways indicates that Tanzania would need to reduce its emissions by 11-38% below 2015 levels or reach emission levels of 54-77 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 excluding LULUCF.

International support will be needed to help the country implement a 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway, which requires a reduction of 11-38% below 2015 levels by 2030 (or 54-77 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030) while still meeting the country’s growing energy demand.

Long term pathway

Tanzania had, as of March 2022, not submitted a long-term decarbonisation strategy. The land and agriculture sectors overall are the main contributors to GHG emissions and would be key in the decarbonisation of Tanzania’s economy and society. Decarbonising the energy sector would also need to be prioritised, as its currently dominated by traditional biomass use (80% of total energy consumption) (mostly for cooking and heating).

1.5°C compatible pathways would require the country to reduce its GHG emissions by 20-51% below 2015 levels by 2050 or 42-69 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050.13 Tanzania will need to implement stringent policies to reduce its LULUCF emissions driven by deforestation due to shifting to agriculture use. While Tanzania’s previous NDC stated that over 54% of its land is forested, deforestation has been on an increasing trend these past 4 years.2

1 United Republic of Tanzania. Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). (Vice President’s Office, Union and Environment, 2021).

2 United Republic of Tanzania. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). (2015).

3 Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority. Electricity Infrastructure. (2021).

4 United Republic of Tanzania (URT). National Climate Change Response Strategy (2021-2026). (2021).

5 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), T. National Climate Change Statistics Report. (2019).

6 IEA. Tanzania Country Profile. Key Energy Statistics.(2020).

7 United Republic of Tanzania. National Five Year Development Plan 2016/17-2020/21: Nurturing Industrialization for Economic Transformation and Human Development. (2016).

8 United Republic of Tanzania. National Energy Policy. (Ministry of Energy and Minerals, 2015).

9 Irene Garcia, Anna Leidreiter, Joachim Fünfgelt, Sixbert Mwanga & Msololo Onditi. Policy Roadmap for 100% Renewable Energy and Poverty Eradication in Tanzania. (2017).

10 United Republic of Tanzania. Voluntary National Review (VNR) 2019. (2019).

11 IRENA. Innovation Landscape Brief:Pay-as-you-go models. (2020).

12 See assumptions here:

13 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.


Tanzaniaʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
Reference year
1.5°C emissions level
Ambition gap
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
2030 emissions levels
1.5°C emissions level
Ref. year 2015

Energy system transformation

Biomass energy in Tanzania is used for cooking and heating purposes and massively dominates the energy sector, accounting for 82% of total consumption.6 Fossil fuels (oil and natural gas) account for 15% while 3% is from hydro, solar and wind. This has adverse impacts not only in terms of its contribution to LULUCF emissions but also to health impacts.9 Transitioning from traditional biomass to modern biomass will help improve air quality and reduce impacts on deforestation. To decarbonise its energy system, Tanzania will need to diversify its energy mix and consider the development of off-grid renewable solutions to ensure a shift to sustainable sources.3,4,8

As of 2019 only 29% of households in Tanzania have electricity..10This means that increasing access to electricity would also be beneficial for the shift from biomass by majority of households.13 Tanzania’s lifeline tariff, where users with consumption of between 200-400 kWh enjoy lower rates, could further enable electricity access and electric cooking on the condition of grid stability.3


Tanzaniaʼs primary energy mix

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
Low energy demand
20192030204020502 0003 000
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Tanzaniaʼs total CO₂ emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂/yr

  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible emissions benchmarks

Key emissions benchmarks of Paris compatible Pathways for Tanzania. The 1.5°C compatible range is based on the Paris Agreement compatible pathways from the IPCC SR1.5 filtered with sustainability criteria. The median (50th percentile) to 5th percentile and middle of the range are provided here. Relative reductions are provided based on the reference year.

Reference year
Reference year
Year of net zero
incl. BECCS excl. LULUCF and novel CDR
Total GHG
Megatonnes CO₂ equivalent per year
54 to 77
48 to 70
42 to 69
Relative to reference year in %
−38 to −11%
−45 to −19%
−51 to −20%
Total CO₂
9 to 13
3 to 10
−1 to 7
2048 to 2069
Relative to reference year in %
−14 to 21%
−72 to −8%
−111 to −32%