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Climate-Smart Development

“Climate-Smart Development: Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty, and Combat Climate Change” describes efforts by ClimateWorks and the World Bank to quantify the benefits of reducing emissions in select sectors and regions. The report has three objectives: 1) to develop a holistic, adaptable framework to capture and measure the multiple benefits of reducing the emissions of several pollutants; 2) to demonstrate how local and national policymakers, members of the international development community, and others can use this framework to design and analyze policies and projects; and 3) to contribute a compelling rationale for effectively combining climate action with sustainable development and green growth worldwide.

“The report’s findings show clearly that the right policy choices can deliver significant benefits to lives, jobs, crops, energy, and GDP – as well as emissions reductions to combat climate change.” – Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group

By using a systems approach to analyze policies and projects, this work illustrates ways to capitalize on synergies between efforts to reduce emissions and spur development, minimize costs, and maximize societal benefits. The report uses several case studies to demonstrate how to apply the analytical framework. Three simulated case studies analyze the effects of key sector policies to determine the benefits realized in the United States, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, and Brazil. The sector policies include regulations, taxes, and incentives to stimulate a shift to clean transport, improved industrial energy efficiency, and more energy efficient buildings and appliances.  Four other simulated case studies analyze several sub-national development projects, scaled up to the national level, to determine the additional benefits over the life of each project, which is generally 20 years. By applying the framework to analyze both types of interventions, this report demonstrates the efficacy of this approach for national and local policymakers, international finance organizations, and others. The case studies show that climate change mitigation and air quality protection can be integral to effective development efforts and can provide a net economic benefit. Furthermore, quantifying the benefits of climate action can facilitate support from constituencies interested in public health and food and energy security, and can advance the international discussion of effective ways to address climate change while pursuing green growth.

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Published June 1, 2014