Strategies for Local Low-Carbon Development

Publication Type


Date Published




Cities around the world are implementing policies and programs with the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as save energy, reduce costs, and protect the local, regional, and global environment. In China, low-carbon development is a key element of the 12th Five Year Plan. Pilot low-carbon development zones have been initiated in five provinces and eight cities and many other locations around China also want to pursue a low-carbon development pathway.

The key steps for low-carbon development are shown in Figure 1. With the 12th Five-Year Plan leading the way, cities and provinces are already committed to reporting their energy consumption and energy intensity. A carbon emissions inventory follows from the energy data. The next step is to identify potential savings of energy and carbon, and to set specific targets. Then comes the task of choosing strategies and policies to achieve the targets; this booklet is designed to support Chinese cities in that task. Next is the hard work to implement the chosen policies. The final important step in low-carbon development is to monitor and evaluation progress, to improve strategies.

This booklet provides information for government officials, policy makers, program designers and implementers, provincial and city planners, and others who want an overview of the key options available for low-carbon development at local level. These Strategies for Local Low-Carbon Development draw from successful experiences from around the world.

Information is provided for low-carbon actions that can be taken in the sectors of (1) Industry, (2) Buildings and Appliances, (3) Electric Power, (4) Consumption and Waste Management, (5) Transportation and Urban Form, and (6) Agriculture and Forestry. A description of each policy is provided along with information on the stakeholders involved in implementation, the conditions for successful implementation, the expected energy and carbon savings, and the policy cost effectiveness.Case studies show how each policy has been implemented somewhere around the world.While there are many low-carbon options available for local implementation, this booklet aims to provide guidance on those that have been most successful, that have the largest impact, and that are cost-effective in order to support low-carbon development efforts in Chinese cities.

Year of Publication



Research Areas

Related Files