In light of the ongoing international discussions about the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action concept, this study takes instead a more ‘bottom-up’ approach through a comparative analysis of five studies of mitigation actions in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and South Africa. The analysis shows that mitigation actions are driven by both developmental and climate objectives. The character, scope, policy horizon and potential success of an action are closely linked to the developmental path of countries such that mitigation actions that directly address poverty and development seem to have a better chance of being implemented since they address issues higher on the policy agenda of developing countries. Where international support is sought, all five countries have some existing measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) and technical competence capacity that can be built upon. The choice of mitigation actions is evidently linked to institutional capacity (both for design and implementation of mitigation actions and possible MRV), emissions profile and the relative resource endowments of countries. The policy environments – from highly planned to less coordinated – and time-horizons – from 4-year plans to 40-year scenarios – differ substantially between the countries. Thus, the comparative analysis underscores the diversity of possible mitigation actions and capabilities and the concomitant need for flexibility in definition, design and implementation.
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