This paper explores the relationship between development goals and tackling human-made climate change. It discusses the application of a development impact assessment (DIA) visual through three country case studies in Ghana, Kenya and Montenegro. The DIA links an action’s development impacts with its mitigation potential and cost, in order to provide a more comprehensive basis for decision making and communication, as compared to mitigation analysis using marginal abatement cost curves alone. The report concludes that several strengths of the visualisation are demonstrated: its flexibility to complement other planning processes; its ability to communicate qualitative information about development impacts; and its potential to support sector-specific and economy-wide decision making. At the same time the experiences provided important lessons around: the country and policy context sensitivity of development impacts; the challenges in using qualitative assessments of impacts; participatory stakeholder DIA processes; and the practical limitations of using prioritisation tools in the policy making process.