Key Priorities in Charting Decarbonization Pathways in Least Developed Countries

The least developed countries (LDCs) are at a decisive stage in their economic development. Climate change requires that they pursue sustained economic growth while balancing needed climate actions against inescapable trade-offs with sustainable development.

This technical paper argues that the need to chart a path to decarbonization is most critical and urgent in LDCs.

It outlines key policy priorities that should inform the design of decarbonization policy and critical elements that shape decarbonization assessments in LDCs and other developing countries.

Section 1 summarises the case for charting decarbonization paths in LDCs.

Section 2 highlights the climate action and environmental pressures on LDCs’ natural resources, and underlines the centrality of the principle of equity in global climate action for sustainable development in LDCs, providing an overview of the historical and current contributions of different country groupings to global carbon emissions.

Section 3 highlights specific characteristics of LDCs that require special attention and consideration in the design and assessment of decarbonization pathways.

Section 4 offers policy guidance and a roadmap that policymakers could use for the assessment of decarbonization pathways in LDCs.

Finally, Section 5 offers concluding remarks.