Aim of a LEDS

A Low-Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) is a national, high-level, comprehensive, long-term strategy, developed by domestic stakeholders, which aims at decoupling economic growth and social development from green house gas (GHG) emissions growth. In other words, the goal of a LEDS is to make development climate-compatible. There are a number of other denominations for similar policy instruments, such as Low Carbon Development Strategy, Climate-Compatible Development Plan, or National Climate Change Plan. But the aims, purposes and basic elements are not very different.


LEDS essentials:

• A LEDS is a policy instrument that identifies the sources of a country‘s GHG emissions and prioritizes options for their mitigation.
• A LEDS focuses on achieving development through mitigation actions.
• A LEDS helps to improve framework conditions for private sector investment in mitigation actions. 

LEDS Proposes:

On the domestic level, the LEDS is a country-driven policy instrument for national decision making. The
LEDS merges climate change action with national development and helps to identify and prioritize nationally
appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by providing a comprehensive analysis of mitigation potentials, costs and co-benefits. The LEDS supports sector transformation through a national, economy-wide approach.
On the international level, LEDS support the global goal of GHG emission reduction. LEDS may help to attract international support (finance, capacity building, technology transfer) and recognition of NAMAs that are being planned and implemented by developing countries

Processes of Developing a LEDS :

A LEDS is work in progress, as the underlying assumptions and projections need to be constantly reviewed and updated to reflect changing circumstances. Thus, the development of a LEDS is a long-term, dynamic, cyclical process that should continue for years or decades as emission pathways change. In a first step, high level political support and the necessary financial and human resources need to be assured.

In a second step, a stakeholder and actor analysis should identify relevant institutions and persons that need to be involved in the process. As there may also be losers in the process, it is vital to address potential negative outcomes during the planning process and include affected parties in the dialogue to negotiate the best possible outcomes.
The third step involves identifying an existing – or the setting-up a new – high-level inter-ministerial coordination body (“National Council on Climate Change”) and establishing technical working groups for different sectors.

In the fourth step, the data collection and analysis, establishment of baseline and GHG-scenarios, identification of mitigation options and policies, the prioritization of options and the development of detailed implementation roadmaps/NAMAs are undertaken.
The final step concerns political endorsement of the mitigation actions, implementation and monitoring. The results of the monitoring would then be fed back into the next cycle by updating the LEDS with new assumptions, objectives and measures.

During the whole process, stakeholder participation and capacity building are crucial for the success of implementation and for triggering investment from the private sector.


In the course of the LEDS Project, an Android mobile app was developped in order to bring a gradual transformation on how producers market and distribute their products. This app made available to the Ngoulmakong cooperative at first. Its scope has gradually been expanded taking into account 200+ producers grouped into cooperatives.

Get it here

Country Leadership Explorer

The Country leadership explorer is a collection of leading examples of actions that contribute to the implementation of NDC goals and long term LEDS.
Explore the map to discover how countries are integrating low emission action and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in their development. The LEDS GP expert working groups, regional platforms and secretariat have collected these examples of country leadership – and have provided links to where you can find out more information.

EU-UNEP Africa Low Emission Development strategy (LEDS) Project in Cameroon

EU-UNEP Africa Low Emission Development strategy (LEDS) Project in Cameroon

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