Low carbon growth plans: advancing good practice

Low carbon growth plans: advancing good practice

Working paper identifying and promoting best practice in national low carbon growth plans

This working paper summarises output from Project Catalyst, an initiative of the ClimateWorks Foundation, aimed at providing analytical support for the UNFCCC negotiations on a post-Kyoto international climate agreement. It seeks to show how to spread best practice around the world effectively by learning from and building upon the experiences of first-generation low carbon growth plans (LCGPs). Key to each country’s LCGP is the balance between maximising mitigation and adaptation efforts whilst maintaining economic growth necessary to ensure that decades of developmental gains are not rolled back. A data-driven and country-specific LCGP is essential to guaranteeing success in finding this balance. The paper covers how the plans are developed and analysed, citing numerous examples of LCGPs from countries such as Mexico and South Africa.

The paper identifies some commonly shared factors determinant to success:

  • senior leadership from within the government
  • strong basis of data and scientific or economic analysis
  • cross-sectoral stakeholder engagement
  • ongoing iteration building consensus around priority sectors in the country.
However, inconsistencies abound, not only in the support provided by developed countries but also in the extent to which:
  • projects are data-driven
  • concrete goals and timeframes are specified
  • institutional capacity and funding are adequately addressed.

The final section of the paper discusses ways to build upon past experiences, facilitate peer-to-peer learning, enable greater technical support and develop global guidelines. Based upon experiences to date, the paper suggests that the global guidelines should cover the following key areas.

  • Baseline assessment of present-day conditions and likely vulnerabilities.
  • A long-term vision for a low GHG economy.
  • A plan for specific investments in economic and infrastructure vulnerability to climate change, as well as moves toward a low emissions economy.
  • The incremental cost of individual NAMAs and NAPAs and the necessary support to implement the plan guidelines must be flexible enough to accommodate countries in different developmental stages, as well as those with sector biases where it makes more sense to generate land-use LCGPs rather than full national plans.
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