OECD/IEA Climate Change Expert Group Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected papers on climate change issues that have been prepared for the OECD/IEA Climate Change Expert Group (CCXG). The CCXG (formerly called the Annex I Expert Group) is a group of government delegates from OECD and other industrialised countries. The aim of the group is to promote dialogue and enhance understanding on technical issues in the international climate change negotiations. CCXG papers are developed in consultation with experts from a wide range of developed and developing countries, including those participating in CCXG Global Forums.

The full papers are generally available only in English.

The opinions expressed in these papers are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OECD, the IEA or their member countries, or the endorsement of any approach described therein.


Low-Emission Development Strategies (LEDS)

Technical, Institutional and Policy Lessons

The term low-emission development strategies (LEDS) first emerged under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2008 and its possible role in a future climate framework continues to be debated. Though no formally agreed definition exists, LEDS are generally used to describe forward-looking national economic development plans or strategies that encompass low-emission and/or climate-resilient economic growth. LEDS can serve multiple purposes but are primarily intended to help advance national climate change and development policy in a more co-ordinated, coherent and strategic manner. A LEDS can provide value-added to the myriad of existing climate change and development related strategies and reports that already exist by providing integrated economic development and climate change planning.

This paper outlines how the concept of LEDS has evolved in the climate policy discourse and explores how it could usefully add to the large number of existing strategies, action plans, and reporting documents that are already available. The paper outlines gaps that LEDS could fill, the elements it could contain, and how LEDS can be prepared to ensure that they are effective and efficient in delivering their intended goals. To derive early lessons and insights on experiences, challenges, and approaches adopted in the preparation of national climate change strategies and LEDS, this paper examines seven countries in detail: Guyana, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Nigeria, Thailand and the UK.

Each country will face its own specific challenges in preparing a LEDS. Common challenges are likely to include: advancing agreement across government on priority policies; obtaining and analysing reliable data on mitigation costs and climate change impacts; identifying and addressing barriers to implementation; and limited financial and human resources. Despite these challenges, the process of preparing a LEDS can facilitate working towards agreement across government on economic development and climate change priorities, and can help attract political support and funding, both domestically and from the international community.


Keywords: adaptation, low emissions development strategy, climate change, greenhouse gas, mitigation
JEL: Q56: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth; Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy; F53: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations; Q54: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
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