Environmentally-friendly technologies play a critical role in the response to climate change, as well as in efforts to transition global economic activity onto a sustainable pathway, which is why it is important that developing countries can now get support to assess their own technology needs and turns these needs into actions plans, which can also then be integrated into their national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.
In order to boost the transfer and use of environmentally-friendly technologies, countries have the opportunity to conduct needs assessments to determine which technologies they need to prioritize for their climate actions. Such actions can relate to both the reduction of emissions (mitigation), as well as measures to increase resilience (adaptation) in the face of climate change impacts.
Based on these Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs) countries can prepare specific Technology Action Plans (TAPs) to turn their technology strategies into actions. This enables implementation, which contributes to countries’ sustainable development.
An event on TAPs was held on 18 May at the UN climate change conference in Bonn to provide a snapshot of implementation in selected countries and to highlight both success factors and challenges.
Experiencing Technology Action Plans on the Ground
Encouragingly, the TNA/TAP process is being undertaken by more and more developing countries. Increasingly, countries are taking actions to integrate their TAPs into national development plans, climate action plans under the Agreement, as well as mitigation and adaptation technology inclusive programs and projects.
As an example, Lebanon showed the road taken from conducting their TNA to the preparation of the climate plan (INDC) it put forward ahead of Paris and how these key processes are connected and build upon each other. The country prioritized combined cycle gas turbines, wind power, PV cells, hydropower and bus transport technologies in mitigation, and conservation agriculture, and rainwater harvesting in adaptation. In their INDC, Lebanon unconditionally targeted a 15% cut of total CO2 emissions and a 30% conditional cut if finance, technological support and capacity building are be provided.
As another example, China presented a TNA, which facilitated careful planning and implementation of both mitigation and adaptation-related technologies. Mitigation technologies were prioritized in the following sectors: residential and commercial buildings, carbon capture and storage, transport, and thermal power. Adaptation technologies were prioritized in the following sectors: agriculture and forest, urban adaptation and water resources. Implementation so far across nine provinces has resulted in total lifetime avoided greenhouse gases of four million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
To secure many more success stories, participants proposed a new mechanism to boost turning TAPs into ever more action on the ground.
These discussions are an important backdrop and foundation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, under which technology cooperation and the TNA process are set to be strengthened.