According to the Paris Agreement's article 4.19: "All Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, mindful of Article 2 taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances."

This Policy Brief examines what LT-LEDS should be and, even more importantly, what motivations and guiding principles their designing should be based upon. In the end, LT-LEDS should be conceived as above all short- and long-term policy-relevant structured strategy exercises, not as modelling exercises.


  • Long-term low emissions development strategies (LT-LEDS) are a crucial policy tool that can help to place short-term actions in the context of the long-term structural changes required to transition to a low-carbon, resilient economy by 2050. Moreover, they can help to explore the consequences of policy choices in terms of integrated socio-economic objectives.
  • LT-LEDS must be transparent, granular, structured and long-term to be useful; they should above all be seen as ‘structured strategy exercises’ rather than complex modelling exercises. LT-LEDS should be embedded in the national policy process, and represent a useful way of structuring national policy debates in a transparent, productive and ambitious way. The point of departure should be national socio- economic objectives, alongside the well below 2°C objective. Rather than ex ante allocation rules (the Paris Agreement has said that future contributions would be ‘nationally determined’), national LT-LEDS should use per capita and sectoral benchmarks in order to ensure coherence with long-term emissions trajectories to meet the well below 2°C objective.
  • International cooperation and dialogue can help to define and promote best practice LT-LEDS. In this regard, the G20 countries should play a leading role and commit notably to preparing LT-LEDS before 2019. LT-LEDS are explicitly not an element of the post-Paris negotiations as such; and should be kept distinct from discussions around NDCs.
Download the publication

PDF - 80.16 KB

4 pages