Article / 02 Oct, 2019
Ramping Up Climate Technology Innovation is Key to Enhance Climate Ambition

UN Climate Change News, 2 October 2019 – Important institutions and bodies created under the UN Climate Change process are set to ramp up their activities to support countries developing and deploying the technology they urgently need to fight climate change and green their economies.

Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, one of the main goals of the Paris Agreement, can only be met through a combination of state of the art technology and innovation.

 “Technological innovation is a critical accelerator and enhancer of the efforts to implement national climate actions and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Ms. Dinara Gershinkova, Chair of the Technology Executive Committee.

The Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN) are working with other stakeholders to support countries, particularly developing countries, and other partners in their innovation efforts.

Both entities held their respective meetings recently in Bonn to incorporate the guidance provided at last year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP24 in Katowice, Poland, on matters relating to technology development and transfer into their respective workplans for the next three years.

“The TEC and the CTCN are instrumental in supporting countries to fully realize their potential for technology development and transfer,” said Ms. Stella Gama, Vice-Chair of the TEC.

Supported by the TEC and the CTCN and partner organizations, countries undertake technology needs assessments (TNAs) to determine their climate technology priorities. Countries then create a technology action plan (TAP) - a concise plan for the uptake and diffusion of prioritized technologies necessary to achieve their climate targets and national development goals.

Geothermal power Uruguay
Geothermal field as a potential source for electricity production. Credit: Matt Palmer

Many countries have already turned their technology action plans into concrete action on the ground. In Uruguay, the prioritization of mitigation technologies during the TNA process led to a focus on the energy sector, especially the renewable energy sub-sector.

The CTCN is now supporting the development of a national roadmap for the use of low-temperature geothermal power in thermal conditioning in the residential, industrial and commercial sectors.

While the main impact of this technical assistance will be the reduction of domestic greenhouse gas emissions, it will also have other economic, environmental, social and cultural co-benefits, with an emphasis on gender equality.

These co-benefits include increased energy sovereignty due to decreased dependence on oil; smoothing out fluctuations in electricity generation by using other complementary renewable energies; and a reduction in the pollutants associated with thermal power stations and vehicles.

Technology action plan Mongolia
Solar panels providing electricity to a traditional Yurt in the Mongolian countryside. Credit: Breathelife

One inspiring example of a current technology action plan in Mongolia involves the development of a 10MW solar power plant to support the country’s transition to renewable energy. The project has an estimated lifespan of 10 years, with $17.6 million invested, of which about $9 million comes from the Green Climate Fund in the form of a loan. The project is expected to result in 306,700 tonnes of CO2 being avoided.

At the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Santiago, Chile, in December, both the TEC and the CTCN will report back on how they are increasing support to countries in the development and deployment of climate technologies to enable them to enhance their climate ambition.

Background

The Technology Mechanism set up under the UN Climate Change process consists of two complementary bodies. The Technology Executive Committee is the policy arm and addresses policy issues to support countries to enhance climate technology development and transfer. The Climate Technology Centre and Network is the implementation arm and responds to developing country requests for technical assistance on climate technology issues.

Read more on the TEC meeting that took place 16-19 September in Bonn here and read more on the CTCN meeting that took place took place 11-13 September here.