Long-Term Planning Efforts: The South African Long-Term Mitigation Scenario Planning Process

Case Summary: 

South Africa’s Long-Term Mitigation Scenario (LTMS) is one of the earliest long-term climate mitigation planning processes undertaken in a developing country. This case study describes how the LTMS arose, its objectives, its design and outputs, and how these have informed and interacted with mitigation policy subsequently. It reflects on the LTMS’ contribution to long-term planning for climate mitigation.

South Africa’s LTMS is a good practice because it was an innovative and, at the time, unique policy process, made possible by auspicious timing, champions, and expertise. It prompted to build a middle ground in an environment of trust, enabled significant early achievements for the country’s climate mitigation policy.

Key findings from the case study include:

  • A proactive and well-respected delegation steeped in the long-term perspective of an international policy process creates a “policy window” that enabled the LTMS
  • The LTMS initiators, individuals from academia, civil society, and government, were deeply engaged in the international climate-mitigation policy discussion and its long-term time frames.
  • The forming of LTMS helped generate an evidence base of best available data
  • Climate mitigation was firmly established on the national policy agenda
South Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Action Area 
Planning and Implementation Activity 
Developing Strategies and Plans, Analysis and Data Collection, Developing and Implementing Policies and Measures, Long-Term Strategies
Barriers overcome 
Information, Institutional, Technological
Global Good Practice Analysis (GIZ UNDP), World Resources Institute (WRI)
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