Policies for low carbon growth

10am, July 22nd, 2015

In this report, Policies for low carbon growth, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has reviewed the low carbon growth and climate change response strategies of a range of countries with differing economic characteristics to draw out the policy implications for developing countries at different stages of development. The report also draws on case studies and other relevant literature to identify possible policy lessons and discuss the extent to which low carbon growth challenges traditional growth theory and policies.

The study, financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), selected a cross section of high, middle and low-income countries to conduct a balanced review of low carbon growth policies. High-income countries (HICs) included Germany and the United Kingdom. Middle-income countries (MICs) included China, Brazil, Guyana, Mexico and Nigeria. Low-income countries included Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. Shorter ‘snapshots’ were also provided for South Korea, India, Malawi, Rwanda and South Africa.

These countries were chosen because they indicate the range of activities being carried out. All have published official documents outlining their climate change policies, such as national strategy documents, National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) reports to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and national communications to the UNFCCC.

In each case, subject to the information available, the report endeavors to describe:

  • The country context (e.g. main industries, level and source of carbon emissions, etc);
  • The policy context and process (e.g. nature of ministerial involvement, degree of consultation, time frame for implementation, etc);
  • Stated motivations for the climate change response/low carbon growth strategy;
  • The policies that have been proposed or implemented as part of this strategy;
  • The policy/strategy documents reviewed.

The review of policies has been based on the following six key pillars:

  1. Finance for mitigation and adaptation;
  2. Human capital;
  3. Technological progress in energy, infrastructure and transportation;
  4. Investment in agriculture and forestry;
  5. Trade and private investment opportunities;
  6. Incentives and regulation for low carbon growth.

Not all of the country policies tackle all of these six issues, and the degree of emphasis on different policies, and also on the balance between adaptation and mitigation, varies considerably between countries depending on their level of income and economic structure.

Read Policies for low carbon growth.

Visit the Overseas Development Institute website.

Institutions Involved

  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI)


Karen Ellis, Bryn Baker and Alberto Lemma
Links for Resource