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Integrating climate change in to development planning

Climate change impacts on all sectors at all levels of governance – from the macro to the micro. Responding to climate change, therefore, requires a sustained effort over time to transform economies and development pathways so that emissions reduction and mitigation of, or adaptation to, impacts of climate change become a central part of any development planning process.

Linking local and national approaches to adaptation and low carbon is one way of improving and streamlining the response, but mainstreaming climate change into existing planning systems has been widely supported as the way forward. For example, decentralised and renewable methods of energy production can offer a more resilient system of achieving basic electrifications, provide opportunities for livelihood diversification and should also contribute to increasing the adaptive capacity of households too. Bringing all these issues together requires a re-think for development planners both in terms of securing future development gains and in terms of exploring alternative approaches to development. Discussions on alternative growth pathways based on low carbon energy and lower emissions are emerging rapidly in global forums, linking to post-Millennium Development Goal targets and sustainable development narratives.

Although there is consensus on the notion of mainstreaming there are also tensions around whether climate change should be mainstreamed into other sectoral programmes or if sector approaches should be integrated into climate change. The multi-dimensional nature of climate change impacts means there are a range of technical studies looking at specific impacts on a number of sectors in different regions, and as a result there are planning tools targeted at different sectors. Specific sectors and issues are addressed in other climate change guides – for example a study of fisheries in the NAPAs process is available here and a study on approaches to adaptation in the water sector in Africa is available here.

The resources in this section focus on sharing lessons for integrating national strategies on mitigation and adaptation with economic growth and development.

Screening tools and guidelines to support the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into development assistance
Anne Olhoff; Caroline Schaer / United Nations Development Programme 2010
This report, commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), takes stock of the numerous climate risk screening tools and mainstreaming guidelines. It presents their relative strengths and weaknesses, with the aim of ...
Policy guidance on integrating climate change adaptation into development co-operation
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2009
The issue of climate change seems remote when compared with problems such as poverty, disease and economic stagnation, yet the ability to successfully address these core development priorities risks being seriously undermined by clima...
Deliberating on low carbon development
Y. Mulugetta (ed); F. Urban (ed) / Elsevier 2010
This paper presents issues that are driving the process of mainstreaming climate change into development plans. By recognising that there are variations in low carbon development (LCD), the paper maps out the diversity of understandin...
Low carbon growth plans: advancing good practice
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 s...
Strengthening the link between climate change adaptation and national development plans: lessons from the case of population in National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs)
Karen Hardee; Clive Mutunga / Springer 2009
Reviewing 41 National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA), this paper identifies the range of interventions implemented by least developed countries (LDCs) and the structural issues that hamper better alignment of climate change ad...