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What is the purpose of Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs)?

Image The main purpose of technology needs assessments is to assist developing countries in identifying and analyzing their priority technology needs in order to help them embark on a clean development pathway. These can include technologies for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Once these priority needs are identified, they can be the basis for a portfolio of projects and programmes using environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) and programmes which can facilitate the transfer of, and access to, the ESTs as well as know-how.

Properly conducted and implemented, TNAs can achieve a number of additional benefits. They can develop important links among stakeholders to support future investments and the removal of barriers to technology transfer; and they can diffuse technologies throughout key sectors of the national economy.

The TNA process not only helps identify specific technology needs, it also points out the direction in which future policies and regulations will need to progress.

Which sectors and technologies are commonly reported?

Earlier this year, the secretariat prepared a second synthesis report on technology needs identified by Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention. Most of the TNA reports assessing mitigation technology needs were in the following sectors: energy production and efficiency; industry; agriculture; waste management; and transport. Adaptation technology needs were assessed in agriculture, forestry, systematic observation, monitoring and health sectors.

Were there any regional technology differences and/or similarities reported?

The second synthesis report includes a comprehensive regional analysis showing some common regional needs for power production, agricultural and transport technologies. It was shown that in Africa, there is more demand  for technologies related to agriculture, energy supply, water management and health; while in Asia and Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, energy production, energy efficiency and transport were considered as priority sectors for the transfer of ESTs.

What is the current status of project and programme ideas proposed?

Some sixty-eight TNAs have already been reported, including more than two hundred projects and project ideas. These proposals will be listed in a comprehensive database which will be featured on the TT: Clear web site. The main objective of the TNA database will be to facilitate project search and identification based on relevant criteria such as sector, project size, financial amount required, and timing of the project, including the planned start of project operation.

Proposals to date cover a wide range of technologies in a variety of sectors. Examples include:



  • Construction of new power plants using hydro power, wind energy, biogas, solar power and clean coal technologies
  • An off-grid solar electricity programme to provide electricity to rural households
  • Use of enhanced quality solar cookers


  • Use of additional raw blending materials for cement production to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Increase in productive capacity of compact fluorescent lamps, thanks to innovative production technologies


  • Afforestation of degraded land to increase carbon dioxide sequestration
  • Installation of fire monitoring facilities to assess threatened forest areas
  • Planting of protective forest
  • Irrigation management of wetland rice fields to reduce methane emissions

Waste management

  • Power generation using bio-fuel produced from urban waste
  • Reduction of methane emissions from landfill sites


  • Networks for monitoring national air quality
  • Centres for the environmental inspection of motor vehicles

To raise public awareness, there have been proposals to hold training sessions to present success stories and experiences with regard to the use of ESTs, in particular renewable energy technologies. Further proposals involve the production of information toolkits such as a wind energy atlas.

Are there any funding opportunities to implement the proposed  project ideas?

The Poznań Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) consists of three funding windows: TNAs,  technology transfer pilot projects and dissemination of technologies and practices. The funding window on TNAs provides targeted financial and technical support to assist developing countries in carrying out improved TNAs. The total GEF funding for this window is $9 million. To implement the project ideas from TNAs, the GEF funding window for implementation of pilot projects with a total budget of $40 million has been established.

What could be the future role of TNA’s post Copenhagen?

Parties confirm that TNA’s provide a good basis for enhancing implementation of the technology transfer framework. The results of  TNA’s can also provide valuable inputs for developing countries in preparing their Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), in particular regarding their priority technology needs.

More information on Technology Needs Assessment is available here.