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Integration of climate change mitigation and sustainable development planning: Lessons from a national planning process in Nigeria

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JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
DateAccepted/In press - 31 Aug 2021
DatePublished (current) - 9 Sep 2021
Pages (from-to)66-75
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

To limit global temperature increases to ‘well below 2 ºC’, it is necessary that current national commitments to reduce emissions are increased, and these commitments are implemented. The identification of local development benefits from climate change mitigation is a possible motivating factor to achieve this. However, there is a lack of practical examples of how climate change mitigation and development priorities can be integrated in national planning processes, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This work considers two questions i) What are the factors that have to be considered when developing a plan integrating GHG reductions with local development goals?; and ii) How do you structure a process to reach a consensus about the plan itself?. It does this by conceptualising the integration of climate mitigation and development benefits as a policy intervention. As a case study, a national planning process that integrated climate change mitigation with improvements to air quality and human health in Nigeria is conceptualised, ex-post, as an intervention theory model. The key factors identified include the importance of tailoring the planning process to the national context of how development priorities are identified and then used in the allocation of national budgets. In particular, assessments undertaken within the planning process, of emission reductions, and development of implementation pathways provided necessary information on how climate mitigation actions contribute to national development priorities. Additionally, the importance of structuring these assessments within a planning processes that also engaged key stakeholders to allow the information produced by the assessments to be informed, and acted upon, by those responsible for mitigation in each key sector is also highlighted. Finally, approaches for the use of intervention theory as a conceptual framework to design a planning process, ex-ante, are discussed, to further optimise the integration of development priorities into climate change planning.

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