Creating incentives to promote sustainable development with climate benefits as side effects is the aim of several policy proposals in international politics. Recently, such proposals surface in the negotiations of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions by developing countries (NAMAs). The authors label such policy instruments Sustainable Development – Policies and Measures (SD-PAMs) after a previously proposed mechanism in the negotiations, and propose an approach to evaluate them.

The approach is based on reconstructing intervention theories of the proposal(s), highlighting the assumptions about the leverage mechanisms through which change is supposed to occur and the assumptions about the actions through which the interventions are presumed to be implemented. The use of value chains is applied to identify what aspects of a socio-technical system the policies and measures are targeting.

Provided international and national institutions to register, control and support implementation, SD-PAMs are expected to provide incentive to voluntary mitigation actions and provide increased possibilities of financing or access to new technologies for implementation. SD-PAMs incentivized by the carbon credits require a too intricate institutional framework to make it effective, compared to those aiming for funding or technology transfer.

Note: This is part of a special issue on achieving sustainable-development and climate goals together.

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