Introduction to Framework
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
—Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5)
The primary purpose of this framework is to support the creation of country-driven, analytically rigorous low emission development strategies (LEDS). LEDS will enable countries to transition to low carbon economic development resulting in sustained growth in employment and investment, increased financial flows through carbon markets, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and other social, economic, and environmental benefits. A rigorous LEDS framework enables countries to:
This website, building on a review of similar methodologies and experiences with LEDS internationally, serves as a generalized framework to guide countries through the development of LEDS. A low emissions development strategy is not a fixed process. The application of this framework must be flexible in adapting to a variety of current and projected country conditions and in complementing existing climate- and development-related programs. To enable its portability in different settings, the framework emphasizes the purpose, resources, and products of each component. Thus each country can customize its framework by selectively choosing the components and resources needed to achieve a comprehensive, integrated, and stakeholder-based action plan for high-priority sectors. The detailed steps within this framework provide a sample step-by-step process, and are provided as guidance rather than as a prescriptive method.
The framework is designed to ensure that low emission development strategies remain country-driven, focused on benefits to developing countries, and able to attract significant private sector investment. The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed this framework in coordination with international partners and U.S. government agencies (Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency), and Department of Agriculture. This effort supports an interagency U.S. government initiative--Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies--to assist developing countries with preparation and implementation of LEDS, and will continue to evolve and support this dynamic process through multiple iterations.
Qualities and Components of Low Emission Development Strategies
There is no one-size-fits-all LEDS framework. LEDS reflect a country's unique circumstances and development goals, building on existing frameworks and country progress in addressing climate change. Several cross-cutting qualities contribute to the success of a LEDS. The key essential qualities are:
Key Components of LEDS
All LEDS have the following key components: