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ECN publication
Assessing development impacts: lessons from a case study in Ghana
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 3-6-2014
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-O--14-014 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
46 Download PDF  

There is a growing need to understand the impacts of countries actions from both a development and mitigation perspective. Development activities are increasingly being judged against their compatibility with climate change. At the same time, the dialogue around climate change is being reframed to recognise the national priorities of developing countries to improve their economies, societies and environment. Although there is a relatively long history of assessing sustainable development impacts of lowcarbon projects, e.g. in relation to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), there are few tools available to decision-makers at the national or sector level. In recognition of this, a Development Impact Assessment (DIA) visual was developed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and GIZ within the LEDS Global Partnership (LEDS GP). The DIA visual links an action’s development impacts with its mitigation potential and cost in order to provide a more comprehensive basis for decision making and communication - as compared to mitigation analysis using marginal abatement cost curves (MACCs) alone. The output can be used within government or with development partners and other stakeholders to help demonstrate priorities, communicate impacts and compare different lowcarbon actions. The process and results attempt to combine climate impacts – which are often relevant to an international audience of negotiators and donors – alongside development impacts – which are most relevant for domestic stakeholders.

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