OECD/IEA Offer Insights on Low-Emission Development Strategies

November 2010: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have released a joint secretariat information paper titled “Low-Emission Development Strategies (LEDS): Technical, Institutional and Policy Lessons.” The paper was developed in response to a request from the Climate Change Expert Group on the UNFCCC.

The paper explains that LEDS have first emerged under the UNFCCC in 2008 and have been specifically mentioned in negotiating texts from the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) and beyond, as well as in the Copenhagen Accord, which recognized that LEDS is indispensible to sustainable development. The paper underlines that LEDS is to be thought of in the UNFCCC context as associated with, but not a precondition for, plans for nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs). It outlines how the LEDS concept has evolved over time and what gaps it could fill in the already large mitigation/adaptations policy-making toolbox, as well as lessons learned from current implementation efforts.

The paper highlights a number of national level co-benefits associated with developing an LEDS, such as: enhanced coordination across different ministries; improved communication with other stakeholder groups, such as businesses and civil society; increased public awareness of climate change science and policy; and the presence of early signals to the private sector for possible directions for investment, research and development. On the international level, they can highlight gaps and funding priorities for the international community, provide climate change impact information, and inform how mitigation actions might impact emission trajectories. [The Paper]