Tag: Technology

How Long is the Journey for EST to LDCs

Sixbert Simon Mwanga
Climate Action Network-Tanzania

Climate technologies and technology transfer are very cruacial in the whole process of addressing climate change in developing countries and Africa in particular. It was recognized at the IPCC  Supplementary report to Assessment Report 1 (AR1) in 1992 that there is a need to develop the most potent climate technologies and create enabling environments for these technologies get diffused, optimally, to both developed and developing countries to achieve a sustainable development corridor.  In the Convention as well, it has been identified that developed countries have the obligation to provide technology support to developing countries. Climate technology is considered to be a redemption for developing countries which are  already suffering from climate change impacts with little hope for their futures.

It has taken more than a decade for parties to consider assuring appropriate institutions for technology assistance to adress the needs of already distressed countries. It is worth knowing that while parties, and especially Annex 1 parties, continue to delay the process through procedural actions, the actual lack of commitment to financial flow, and failure to address Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), capacity building as well as institutional arrangements, the climate has never stopped its track toward a worse conclusion.

The need for transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology (EST) and financial resources to developing and poor countries in support of susatainable developments has been considered to be important since Rio,  but they are yet to be attained. For more than 20 years, since Rio, little if  nothing has been done to facilitate the transfer of EST to the global south. The people of the global south have suffered a lot, their survival is at risk, and they are unhappy with the failure to properly address the development, transfer and diffusion of EST.

This happened despite creating instituions and mechanisms for the global technology cooperation after years of time-consuming negotiations in the various exotic venues of the cities of the world. In the meantime, the rise of incidence of extreme events and losses of both human and physical assets went on increasing, thereby leaving the most vulnerbale people of the world at the mercy of the nature. This cannot be the addressal mechanism, we need quick, effective and smooth cooperation of technoligies to address the urgency of climate actions.

Please facilitate quick action by shortening your procedural businesses!

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CAN Submission: For ADP Chairs on Workstream 2: Pre-­2020 Ambition, March 2013

At successive UNFCCC meetings, Parties have acknowledged the existence of a multi-gigatonnes gap between the current level of ambition to mitigate emissions until 2020 (expressed in QELROs, pledges, targets and NAMAs) for the period until 2020 and what is required in that period to allow the world to stay below the critical 1.5/2°C threshold. According to the Climate Action Tracker, current pre-2020 ambition (expressed by countries in QELROs, pledges and NAMAs) puts the world onto a path of 2.7-4.2°C warming. There is a consensus within the scientific community that we are fast approaching a devastating tipping point. In this context it is alarming that governments have not taken any steps yet to close the gap but allow it to grow. According to UNEP, the estimated emissions gap in 2020 for a “likely” chance of being on track to stay below the 2°C target is 8 to 13 GtCO2e, while it was 6 to 11 GtCO2e in the 2011 report. Global emissions are currently 14 per cent above where they should be to have a likely chance to limit global warming to no more than 2°C.

Some Parties seem to hope to get away with misinterpreting “enhancing ambition” to mean to continue to mitigate after 2020, and to leave the current pre-2020 ambition gap untouched – at least as far as own action is concerned. This is a highly irresponsible assumption. Raising the ambition level of action before 2020 is a prerequisite to stay below the 1.5/2°C threshold.  
With sufficient political will, that is lacking for instance in the US, China, EU, Canada, Japan, Australia and Russia, emissions can be brought to a level by 2020 consistent with staying below the critical 1.5/2°C threshold. UNEP's “Bridging the Emissions Gap 2012” report asserts that this is possible and economically feasible, using existing, mature technologies. In fact it should be common knowledge by now that if nothing more is done to increase the current unconditional pledges, costs would be much higher to reach deeper reductions in later years and/or the adaptation needs would be far greater.


CAN Submission: 5th Meeting of the Technology Executive Committee, March 2013


The text of the draft Doha decision, Agreed outcome pursuant to the Bali Action Plan, asks COP 19 to “initiate … the elaboration and consideration of the relationship of the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network, in order to ensure coherence and synergy within the Technology Mechanism…”Climate Action Network (CAN) is very pleased for the opportunity to offer this submission which focuses on supporting that goal, under items 2 and 3 of the TEC’s rolling work plan, by describing an efficient cooperative vision for the relationship and by providing additional detail, by example, of where, in our view, the relationship might benefit from further elaboration.

CAN Submission: 5th Meeting of the Technology Executive Committee - Technology Assessment in the Technology Mechanism, March 2013


Now that the components of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism – the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) – have been established and will become fully operational this year, there are areas of their respective mandates that could benefit from further elaboration. Among these is the ways in which the TEC and CTCNcould address Technology Assessment(TA), an area that will become increasingly crucial as the Technology Mechanism fulfills its mandate to facilitate and enable the actual development, transfer and deployment of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) for countries, particularly developing and least developed countries and small island states, to address the impacts of climate change.
Para 61(a) of the Agreed Outcome on the Bali Action Plan adopted in Doha Recommends the
Advisory Board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network, in considering the programme of work of the Climate Technology Centre and Network, to take into account. Providing advice and support to developing country Parties, including capacity-building, in relation to conducting assessments of new and emerging technologies, in accordance with decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 123(a)(i) and 128(e).
While the Doha Decision made reference only to the possible role of the CTCN in providing advice, support and building capacity in conducting assessments of new and emerging technologies, we would like to stress that there is an important role to be played by the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) in undertaking activities related to TA. As part of its mandate to consider and recommend actions to promote technology development and transfer with the goal of accelerating action on mitigation and adaptation,the TEC has already identified TA as a focus area. In its Rolling Workplan for 2012-2013, adopted at its second meeting, the TEC has identified possible guidance on technologies based on technology assessments as an outcome that is expected to result from its work in preparing an inventory of relevant technology briefs, technical reports and technical papers beginning in 2013. So far, there have been initial exchanges of ideas on TA within the TEC at its fourth meeting held in Bangkok in September 2012, with members seeking clarity on the nature and extent of the TEC’s involvement in TA and its value in the dissemination of ESTs.
As complementary components of the Technology Mechanism, the TEC should give policy limate Action Network International Submission to TEC, March 2013 guidance on TA while the CTCN provides support, operational guidance and capacity building to developing countries on the conduct of TA.

No oasis for climate in Doha desert


The UN climate talks failed to deliver increased cuts to carbon pollution, nor did they provide any credible pathway to $100 billion per year in finance by 2020 to help the poorest countries deal with climate change, according to the 700 NGOs who are members of Climate Action Network-International (CAN-I).

Two weeks ago, just prior to the start of these negotiations, numerous credible reports were published by an array of well respected scientists, economists and climate change experts, all with essentially the same conclusion - we are currently on an unsustainable path which virtually guarantees the world will be faced with catastrophic effects from climate change, according to Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo.

“Two weeks of negotiations have not altered that path and that politicians need to reflect the consensus around climate change through funds, targets and effective action."

WWF head of delegation, Tasneem Essop, said Doha was supposed to be an important element in setting up for a fair, ambitious and binding deal in 2015 and therefore needed to rebuild trust and instill equity.

“These talks have failed the climate and they have failed developing nations,” Essop said. “The Doha decision has delivered no real cuts in emissions, it has delivered no concrete finance, and it has not delivered on equity.”

Governments have delivered a very vague outcome that might lead to increased ambition but only if the politics shift to working for the people, our future, and not the polluters.

In particular, countries including the US, who have continually blocked progress in the talks, need to fundamentally change their positions in line with their obligation to lead on the solution to this crisis that they created.

Tim Gore, International Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam, said Doha had done nothing to guarantee that public climate finance would go up next year, not down.

“Developing countrieshave come here in good faith and have been forced to accept vague words and no numbers,” Gore said. “It's a betrayal.”

Wael Hmaidan, director of CAN-I, said that ministers needed to go back to their capitals and work hard to put concrete proposals on the table for the next talks so that progress could be made towards to secure a fair, ambitious, and binding deal in 2015.

“The path forward is actually quite clear: we have the technology and know-how to reduce dangerous carbon pollution, protect vulnerable communities, and grow sustainable, resilient, economies.”

“But we also need people in all regions of the world to demand leadership from their governments on climate change – just like the new youth movement in the Arab region has done.”

The Doha Decision:

  • An extraordinarily weak outcome on climate finance which fails to put any money on the table or to ensure a pathway to the $100 billion a year by 2020 target. The decision asks for submissions from governments on long term finance pathways, calls for public funds for adaptation but does not mention a figure, and encourages developed countries to maintain funding at existing levels dependent on their economies.  
  • An eight year second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with loopholes that allow carry over, use and trading of hot air
  • A call – though not an official ambition ratchet mechanism - for Kyoto Protocol countries to review their emissions reduction target inline with the 25-40% range by 2014 at the latest. While it could have been stronger, the decision reinforces clear moral obligation for countries to increase their emission reduction targets prior to 2020 and provides opportunities for them to do so
  • An agreed work program on loss and damage to help victims of climate change will start immediately anda decision “to establish institutional arrangement, such as an international mechanism, at COP19”
  • Developed countries failed to agree a way to account for their carbon in a comparable way

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
For more information, please contact CAN International Communications Coordinator Ria Voorhaar, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, local mobile: +974 33 38 6907.


Will Doha be an oasis of hope or doom for the poor?

This generation has witnessed unforgettable catastrophes of climate change. The most affected are the rural and poorer people of developing countries, Africa in particular. The African continent has contributed the least to the problem and is the one least able to cope with the impacts, because we depend heavily on climate sensitive activities for our survival. Most of the NAPAs from Africa prioritized agriculture, water, health, energy, forestry and wetlands, wildlife and tourism as the most vulnerable sectors.

The whistle for negotiations in Doha has been blown and negotiators are running from one room to another to ensure as much ground is covered as possible within one week. However, most of the outcomes of these discussions are not in favour of the interests of the developing countries, including Africa, leaving most of the negotiators dejected and frustrated.

However, there is still hope to be salvaged  Doha-Qatar negotiations and asking negotiators from Annex 1 countries must be friends in need so that we become friends indeed by focusing on the scientific imperative. They must reflect on the dangers that climate change already felt by vulnerable regions of Africa and other developing countries. This will be easily seen by finalizing and adopting a meaningful and effective second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, addressing the outstanding issues under the convention track in accordance with the 2007 Bali mandate and setting the negotiations under the Durban Platform for enhanced action on firm footing to adopting a legally binding agreement by 2015.

Africa is looking for an agreement that will assure to undertake mitigation and adaptation through effective finance mechanism and technology transfer.


What divides us should not be stronger than what unites us!


From the 26th of November to 7th of December 2012, the 18th Conference of Parties (COP-18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th Conference of the Parties serving as Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol was held in Doha, Qatar. This crucial time attracted the attention of thousands of people whose shared interest can be described simply as: AMBITION.

Climate and Development Network, which brings together over 70 Francophone civil society organizations, was present and reminded us this conference is an important milestone and a chance for humanity to decide not to follow the critical path to 3.5 and 6 °C.

"We will work to remind negotiators Africans and others from around the world that we need clarity, fairness and ambition!" says Ange David Baimey, Project Coordinator of Climate and Development Network.

Thousands of participants and observers have low expectations from their respective countries as far as a commitment to amending the 2nd period of the Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in a few days. Instead, there were only revised reduction targets that have actually increased.

Also, the Durban platform, launched at South Africa's COP 17, takes us into a new negotiating framework requiring a particular focus on loss and damage, as well as enabling African communities to adapt to the consequences of climate change. There has been an increasing number of floods and droughts in these regions, causing negative impacts to crops. It is necessary that adequate resources are made available to these areas.

"Communities continue to suffer, we cannot emphasize this enough! COP 18 needs to clarify the financial issues with early funding periods ending without fulfilling its proposed outcomes. We need specifics as to what will be done next year and each subsequent year leading up to 2020," says Aissatou Diouf, Communications Officer at Energy Enda Senegal.

Doha should lead to an ambitious agreement that commits all parties, especially developed nations, on issues such as agriculture, energy and technology transfer, in the spirit of integrity and justice.

CAN Intervention in the COP18 SBI Opening Plenary, 27 November, 2012


CAN, YOUNGO and CJN! SBI Opening Plenary Intervention at COP18

Delivered by, David Gawith of YOUNGO, 27 November 2012

Thank you Chair, my name is David and I will be 60 years old in in 2050

Your task this week is a challenging one. The SBI is expected to complete its entire business this session by Saturday.  We stand ready to assist you in this task. Science is telling us that full and sustained implementation of the Convention's fundamental objective is slipping further and further from our grasp. This has disastrous implications for humanity and for its future, our future.

 Hurricane Sandy’s impacts in Haiti, Cuba, and the United States have reminded us that loss and damage is a reality. It’s happening now. Current low mitigation ambition is breaching the ultimate objective of the Convention. Opportunities for avoiding loss and damage are being wasted because of insufficient funding. We need to start thinking beyond adaptation. Based on the decision from Durban, we expect you to set up a comprehensive mechanism to address compensation and rehabilitation issues. Further, we expect you to develop the next phase of the work programme to detail the modalities of the mechanism. Almost 100 vulnerable developing countries have outlined the needs and potential elements of an international mechanism. Doha must not end without clear progress on addressing loss and damage.

On technology, for the Technology Mechanism to be considered "fully operational" at COP18 there must be a committed source of interim and long term funding for the Technology Executive Committee, the Climate Technology Centre and its Advisory Board. The architecture of the Technology Mechanism must also be highly responsive to developing Party clients in order to promote transparency and ensure equitable access to adaptation and mitigation technologies. Finally there must be robust engagement with stakeholders and civil society.
On Capacity Building, Parties should concentrate their work on paragraph 6 of 13/CP-17. By agreeing on an intensive 2 year work programme that creates an enhanced structure for effective capacity building in developing countries, by the end of 2014, the ground lost on capacity building could be regained here in Doha.

We hold you accountable for these outcomes.

 Thank you.

UAE sets to impress

Yesterday the halls of COP 18 in Doha were abuzz because of an announcement by the UAE during the meeting of the ADP. The Gulf state announced concrete actions it would be taking in order to do its part in reducing climate change. 

The UAE announced that they will open a 100 megawatt (MW) plant this year using Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), while also preparing for another 100 MW using Photovoltaics (PV).
This is exciting news considering that the UAE belongs to a set of countries that have not historically been responsible for comparatively large total emissions. The Arab world in specific is currently only responsible for a fraction of total world emissions and is still flagged as a developing country region. 
The UAE has already been one of the more active countries in the region in renewable energy. In recent years it has shown a drive to improve its infrastructure in many regards and the energy generation sector is no exception. 
The examples to this are numerous, such as increased solar energy (including a solar roofing pilot program), and wind energy generation adapted to the weather of the region. Several mass transit projects, such as the Dubai and Abu Dhabi metros, and the countrywide rail system, are underway. Following through in the transportation sector, several gas stations in the capital are involved in the initial phases of a drive to retrofit vehicles to use liquid petroleum gas.
ECO hopes this latest announcement in COP18 foreshadows much more to come. ECO remains cautions, however, since the UAE announced as well that it would be adopting nuclear energy and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) in order to reach its mitigation goals. CAN does not condone this last announcement and would strongly encourage the UAE to disregard this path and instead focus on their very promising renewable energy mix.
The UAE would do itself and he world a great favor by voluntarily pledging to commit to reducing climate pollution and by pledging its already existing mitigations actions. Such a gesture will cement the UAE's active stance on climate and hopefully encourage other countries to take similar pledges, and will push developed countries to take binding commitments. 
This message has already being communicated to them by the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) and Greenpeace.
ECO remains hopeful that this move by the UAE can serve as a catalyst for change. 
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