Guidelines and tools (LEAP-IBC) for national planning

The lack of quantitative data can impede efforts to make the case for action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. The Coalition’s SNAP Initiative has developed a suite of tools to help countries assess and prioritize policy options and measures within the national context. This includes:

  • A guidance document describing the main steps of a national short-lived climate pollutant planning process, as well as a number of other briefings
  • An integrated modelling and scenario planning tool to help governments jointly assess the emission reduction potential of greenhouse gases, short-lived climate pollutants and other air pollutants emissions in their country know as the LEAP (Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System) and its Integrated Benefits Calculator (IBC). LEAP-IBC is an extension of the existing LEAP tool developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute that has been used for energy planning and greenhouse gas mitigation assessments for 25 years

The major health, climate, crop yield, ecosystem and development benefits of short-lived climate pollutant mitigation actions can only be realised through widespread and scaled up emissions reductions.

Simultaneously achieving air quality and climate change goals is challenging due to the wide range of pollutants and sources that need to be considered. To effectively mitigate climate change and improve air quality requires effective planning to identify how emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants can all be reduced to achieve the greatest benefits and minimise trade-offs.

It is essential that short-lived climate pollutants are considered alongside other greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions rather than in isolation, as many mitigation measures are effective in reducing short-lived climate pollutants as well as co-emitted greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Similarly, it is important to understand how existing air quality and climate actions affect short-lived climate pollutant emissions.


In 2013, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Working Group set up the SNAP Initiative to support the development of a toolkit for planning that would consist of:

  • A guidance document explaining the mains steps of a national planning process
  • A suite of analytical tools including an extension to the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) tool through the development of an Integrated Benefits Calculator (IBC) module for air pollution and climate impact assessment and BenMAP-CE

What we're doing

The Coalition, through its SNAP Initiative, has supported the development of tools that can help countries in their planning efforts.

The Guidance document: National Planning to reduce short-lived climate pollutants details necessary steps of a national planning process.

The Long-range Energy Alternative Planning (LEAP) – Integrated Benefits Calculator (IBC) is an integrated modelling and planning tool that helps governments jointly assess greenhouse gas, short-lived climate pollutant and other air pollutant emissions. It can be used to:

  • Characterize national emissions of greenhouse gases, short-lived climate pollutants and other air pollutants
  • Explore alternative emission reduction scenarios
  • Calculate country-level health, and agriculture benefits and global climate benefits from different mitigation strategies
  • Compare results across alternative scenarios
  • Inform nationally appropriate action on climate and air quality through measures to reduce short-lived climate pollutants

The Coalition supported the enhancement of the LEAP system, a tool that was already widely-used for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment, developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute. It is an integrated, scenario-based modelling tool originally developed to track energy consumption, production and resource extraction in all sectors of an economy. It can account for both energy sector and non-energy sector greenhouse gas, short-lived climate pollutant and other air pollutant emission sources and sinks.

The main enhancements supported by the Coalition are:

1. A built-in structure for short-lived climate pollutants assessment: LEAP-IBC now includes a default architecture that covers all major source sectors of emissions. These source sectors include the major energy-consuming emission sources (e.g. residential, transport, industry) and energy transformation sectors (e.g. electricity generation), as well as non-energy emission sources (e.g. agriculture, waste). To calculate emissions from a source sector, the user must input a value for the activity and emission factor or use the default values included for many of the source sectors. The default architecture can be changed to model a source sector in more or less detail depending on the data that is available and the mitigation measure that the user is interested in evaluating.

2. The development of the Integrated Benefits Calculator (IBC): This module calculates the benefits to human health, crop yield and climate from scenarios implementing particular emission reduction strategies. It combines emissions scenarios from LEAP for a country with an international emissions dataset for the rest of the world (IIASA ECLIPSE), and with output from a global atmospheric chemistry transport model to estimate air pollution concentrations across a country. These are combined with exposure-response functions to estimate nationally the health benefits (avoided premature deaths associated with air pollution exposure) and agricultural crop yield loss avoided from a particular mitigation strategy. It then produces national-scale estimates of avoided premature deaths and crop losses; LEAP-IBC also estimates the climate benefits, in terms of the global average temperature change, of addressing short-lived climate pollutants, adopting air pollution reduction strategies and implementing greenhouse gas mitigation.

3. Use at city scale: With this upcoming enhancement, the SNAP LEAP-IBC tool will be able to estimate the contribution of different pollutants from different sectors to city air quality and estimate how much of the pollution in the city comes from the city itself, how much comes from remaining national sources, and how much comes from transboundary transport in the atmosphere from other countries.

The Coalition is also contributing to the improvement of other aspects of LEAP-IBC, including methods for gridding emissions in a country; improving emission factors (EFs) and development of EF database, improving usability of the toolkit, developing robust ways to show uncertainties; assessing costs of implementing measures, expanding the scope and usability of the toolkit (i.e. benefit estimation, economic valuation, HFC emissions), and developing guidance for scenario generation to establish likely progression of emissions in each country.

In order for the SNAP LEAP-IBC toolkit to be applicable to different countries and for use by Coalition partners, the Coalition has supported the calibration of the toolkit to 100 countries.

As part of these activities, the Stockholm Environment Institute led LEAP-IBC trainings at national and regional levels. As a result, the LEAP-IBC tool is now being used by 13 countries - Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Liberia, Maldives, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru and Togo - to support their national short-lived climate pollutant planning.


The LEAP-IBC functionality to estimate impacts of air pollution (fine particulate matter on human health) is currently available to governments and organisations in 100 countries.

LEAP Licences

The LEAP software, which is developed, maintained and supported by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), requires a licence to be used. Licence fees are designed to make LEAP as accessible as possible to energy and climate practitioners in developing countries, while asking other to make a fair contribution to the ongoing development and maintenance of the system and the free technical support provided to all users.

Fees are based on structuring countries or economies into three "tiers". Tier 1 consists of low-income and lower-middle-income economies (for these countries LEAP licenses are free to academic organizations, NGOs and not-for-profit government agencies). Tier 2 consists of upper-middle-income economies (for users in these countries, the LEAP license costs $1500 for 2 years for 5 users within an organisation). Tier 3 consists of high-income economies (for users in these countries, the LEAP license costs $4500 for 2 years for 5 users within an organisation).

The cost of these licences varies based on the licencing period (e.g. 6 months, 1 year or 2 years) and by the number of users and the number of applications (i.e. the number of datasets to be developed).