Climate Change Mitigation

STAP guidance on climate risk screening

GEF investments are increasingly exposed to risks associated with climate change and natural disasters. At the same time, GEF funding contributes to the resilience of human and natural systems in the face of these risks. The need to systematically identify and address climate and disaster-related risks across GEF investments was identified by STAP and recognized by the GEF Council in 2010 (GEF/C.39/Inf.18, Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Climate Risks: Scientific Rationale for the Sustained Delivery of Global Environmental Benefits in GEF Focal Areas). The GEF Council asked STAP to examine the effects of climate change on GEF projects. More recently, the UNFCCC COP requested the GEF to “to take into consideration climate risks in all its programs and operations, as appropriate, keeping in mind lessons learned and best practices” (2016).

In December 2018, the GEF Council approved a new Environmental and Social Safeguards policy. On climate change and disaster risks, the new policy states that, “short- and long-term risks posed by climate change and other natural hazards are considered systematically in the screening, assessment and planning processes…. based on established methodologies, and significant risks and potential impacts are addressed throughout the design and implementation of projects and programs”.

This STAP guidance proposes a common standard for climate risk screening of GEF projects based on the scientific literature and builds on earlier work undertaken over the last several years in response to the Council’s request that STAP examine the effects of climate change on GEF projects.  At a minimum, each agency should use a risk screening process that includes four steps (hazard identification, assessment of vulnerability and exposure, risk classification, risk mitigation plan), ranks risks according to a clearly defined scale, and uses the best available data.



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Principles for the Development of Integrated Transformational Projects in Climate Change and Chemicals & Waste

Drawing on 32 case studies from the fields of Climate Change (CC), Chemicals & Waste (Ch&W), and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), the paper demonstrates how system thinking can enhance outcomes and lead to wider adoption of new technologies, changes and behaviours that protect and restore the environment. The paper offers guidance for the GEF on how to develop integrated projects and programs, based on a review of the literature on systems thinking and similar disciplines, drawing from examples [of GEF projects] demonstrating lessons on integrated programming in support of sustainable development and delivering multiple benefits.


In this paper, integrated approaches are seen as instruments that can bring about changes in the multiple domains necessary to achieve the desired long-term transformation. Thus "integrated projects or programs" are understood to consider causes across the environment and different realms of human activity, and to generate benefits in two or more GEF focal areas, as well as social and economic benefits. Given the multiple factors, interconnections involved and complexity of CC, and the processes related to Ch&W, the central conclusion of this review is that systems thinking can be used to derive key principles to guide the development and implementation of integrated projects that contribute to transformation at scale for both CC and Ch&W.

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Revised Methodology for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Benefits of GEF Energy Efficiency Projects (Version 1.0)

Improving energy efficiency (EE) is the single most important abatement opportunity reducing global warming. For the next couple of decades, energy efficiency’s contribution to energy use or emission reduction is estimated between 25-50% of the total mitigation potential depending on the model used. Most models put the associated absolute CO2 emission reduction potentials in 2030 between 4 and 8 Gt (IEA, 2011). The World Bank estimated that the GEF energy efficiency projects implemented by the World Bank, in the period of 1992-2009, have delivered nearly 100 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) in direct emission reductions over the lifetime of the projects, and close to 300 million tCO2e in indirect emission reductions. GEF requires every climate change project to provide an estimate of the avoided or reduced amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions the project expected to deliver at the ex ante stage (pre-implementation stage). In 2008, the GEF developed an ex-ante methodology for calculating greenhouse gas emissions reductions for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. STAP assisted the GEF in updating/revising the methodology with a focus on ex-ante calculation of energy efficiency measures. The updated GEF EE Methodology is developed to assist project developers in calculating project-specific ex-ante greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be used during project preparation before the CEO endorsement. The intent of this proposed revision is to improve the rigor and consistency of the GHG analysis, and to simplify the application of the methodology for GEF agencies, by providing a more complete, and easy-to-use spreadsheet tool that embeds more standardized guidance in the form of algorithms for component-specific calculations, conservative default factors as well as dynamic baselines. The methodology has four modules to allow for calculations of GHG emission reductions:

  1. Standards and Labeling,
  2. Building Codes,
  3. Demonstration and Diffusion, and
  4. Financial Instruments.

The Methodology includes an Excel Spreadsheet and the accompanying documentation with a step-by-step guide how to use the methodology and four examples demonstrating the use each module in the methodology. Prepared By: Margarita Dyubanova Publication Date: 5 April 2013

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DOWNLOAD Methodology

DOWNLOAD Standards & Labeling

DOWNLOAD Building Codes

DOWNLOAD Demonstration & Diffusion

DOWNLOAD Financial Instrument

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Climate Change: A Scientific Assessment for the GEF

STAP releases assessment of climate mitigation science – calling on the GEF to make a transformational contribution towards a global low-carbon economy During this time of significant change in climate politics and global financial architecture for climate action, the GEF faces new challenges and opportunities. The newest STAP report, prepared by leading experts in the field, under the leadership of STAP Panel Member, Prof. N.H. Ravindranath, reviews recently published climate science literature and provides a set of important considerations for the GEF’s role in this context. The report provides rich scientific and policy information about current mitigation and adaptation science. However, the single most important conclusion coming from this work could be summarized as the following:

To stabilize GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level preventing dangerous interference with the climate system, incremental reductions in GHG emissions are inadequate and a transformation shift leading to significant “decarbonization” of energy supply and economic systems is required. While the existing GEF approach to climate mitigation through market transformation and investment is environmentally sound, and climate friendly technologies remain relevant, the Facility should strive to shift away from promoting single technology and/or single sector approaches towards increased focus on systemic approaches – encompassing a combination of energy demand reduction measures, low-carbon option deployment, innovative IT systems, energy security, and policy and capacity development.

In this context the GEF should play a leading global role in assisting developing countries and economies in transition to produce short- and long-term low-carbon development strategies, consistent with their national sustainable development goals.

The report highlights recent climate change projections, including expected impacts, and reviews key mitigation sectors and technologies. It focuses on “traditional” GEF support policies and mitigation opportunities in energy efficiency, renewable energy, REDD+, and a number of other key strategies and sectors. The report argues for a strong GEF role in such emerging sectors with high mitigation potential as urban systems combining transport, buildings, water supply, waste treatment, food supply and land use zoning; AFOLU (Agriculture, Forest and Other Land Use); agri-food supply systems – including emerging and often controversial mitigation opportunities such as short-lived climate forcers and carbon capture and storage.

Publication Date: November 2012  Authors: N.H. Ravindranath, Ralph E. H. Sims, Diana Urge-Vorsatz, Milou Beerepoot, Rajiv K. Chaturvedi and Lev Neretin DOWNLOAD

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Calculating Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Global Environment Facility Transportation Projects

The primary purpose of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is to generate global environmental benefit. The essential path for achieving this goal is the financial support of projects whose completion delivers substantial, measurable reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG). The more projects that can be brought to fruition, the greater is the fulfillment of our purpose, and the more profound is the positive impact on the environment. This effort is a collaboration between the GEF and those applicants proposing projects designed to yield these benefits. This Manual is designed to assist proponents in shaping their projects accurately and responsibly, and presenting them for consideration in consistent, quantifiable terms. The GEF is committed not only to supporting the national and regional goals of each group, but to extending, as far as possible, the results of these projects so that they contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) on a global scale. Publication Date: January 2011 Authors: Walter Hook, Michael Replogle and Colin K. Hughes DOWNLOAD DOWNLOAD TEEMP Models

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Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport

This report defines “Sustainable low-carbon transport” as a strategy to provide economically viable infrastructure and operation that offers safe and secure access for both persons and goods whilst reducing short and long term negative impact on the local and global environment. This is in conformity with the views of IPCC (2007) according to which transportation planning and policy has a direct linkage to sustainable development, which includes reducing oil imports, improvement of air quality, reducing traffic congestion and improving travelling facilities. Such a policy can have important synergies with reducing GHG emissions. Publication Date: November 2010 Authors: Holger Dalkmann and Cornie Huizenga DOWNLOAD

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STAP Screen - 3744

Title: Integrated Renewable Biomass Energy Development Project


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STAP Screen - 4927

Title: Facility for Low Carbon Technology Deployment


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STAP Screen - 5396

Title: National Urban Transport Improvement Project


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STAP Screen - 3791

Title: Energy Efficiency Standards and Labels in Peru


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