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This website was archived in May 2018 and is no longer being updated – it remains in its original format for informational purposes only. For questions pertaining to this archived content, please contact the USAID Office for Global Climate Change - [email protected]

Colombia is taking a global leadership role in developing an economy-wide, whole-of-government low emission development strategy (LEDS). The LEDS—called Estrategia Colombiana de Desarollo Bajo en Carbono (ECDBC)—identifies climate change mitigation opportunities and their associated economic costs and benefits through 2040. Through the EC-LEDS program, Colombia with support from the U.S. government is working to implement the country's ECDBC.


Environmental/Economic Data

Pie chart image entitled, "Colombia GDP by Sector (2015)," showing: Agriculture 7%, Services 59%, and Industry 34%

Top Three GHG Emitting Sectors (2012)

  1. Energy
  2. Agriculture
  3. Land Use

Source: World Resources Institute  

GDP Average Annual Growth Rate (%)

  • 10-year (2006-2015): 4.6% per year
  • 5-year (2011-2015): 4.6% per year

Source: World Bank

GHG Emission Growth (%)

  • 20-year (1993-2012): 19.0%
  • 5-year (2008-2012): 4.0%

Source: World Resources Institute 

Forested Area (% of total land area)

  • 2015: 52.7%

Source: World Bank

Renewable Energy Contribution to Electricity Generation (%)

EC-LEDS Activities

Accomplishments and Progress

Evaluating Economic Impacts of Clean Energy Development. Twenty participants from various governmental entities and academia received training on the Jobs and Economic Development Impacts modeling tool, which quantifies economic impacts from clean energy development projects. Based on participant feedback, the tool is being further improved for broader dissemination across Colombia. Understanding the economic impacts of clean energy projects is helping Colombian decision-makers identify and prioritize deployment opportunities. Laying the groundwork for clean energy will help Colombia increase energy security and open new markets for clean energy entrepreneurs. – Ongoing


Assessing the Benefits of Urban Forests. A variety of local government entities from the city of Valledupar participated in two urban forestry workshops that focused on urban forest benefits and discussed the elements necessary for a strong, viable urban forest program. With this foundation, U.S. experts will continue to work with the Valledupar municipal government and local partners to develop an urban forest management plan that will help Valledupar and its citizenry mitigate and adapt to climate change and preserve valuable urban forests. Improving land management helps reduce poverty in local communities, protects valuable natural resources, promotes clean air and water, and can improve production of important global commodities. – Ongoing

Working with Rural Communities on Agro-Climatic Adaptation. During a training workshop, representatives of the government of the city of Pasto, local entities, and agriculture community members evaluated climate risks in agricultural processes, like frost weather conditions. The participants prioritized three crops (onion, potato, and corn) to be used as case studies to develop agro-climatic boards by using climate predictions to select adaptation measures.

Clean Energy Policy Design Supported. With technical assistance from the EC-LEDS program clean energy experts, Colombia enacted a new law to promote the integration of renewable energy resources in non-connected areas. It increases financial incentives such as income tax and value added tax reductions; allows for self- and cogeneration and bidirectional metering; and establishes the Non-Conventional Energies and Energy Efficiency Fund. The enactment of this law is a huge step in transforming Colombia´s institutional framework and promoting economic incentives needed to stimulate private sector investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. – 2014

Sustainable Transportation Facilitated. The EC-LEDS program partnered with Colombia to leverage $20 million in international funding for transit-oriented development. Focused on mitigation action and finance at the national level and implementation at the city level, this work will shift where public and private investments are made in order to increase environmental, economic, and social returns on Colombia’s transit and social housing development. – 2014

Institutions Strengthened. Led by dedicated climate staff, sponsored and trained by the EC-LEDS program, five ministries—Agriculture, Industry, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Housing and Planning—finalized Sectoral Mitigation Action Plans (SMAPs) that identify specific policies and plans for reducing emissions for inclusion in the new Colombian National Development Plan 2014-2018. – 2014