Tag: Technology

CAN Submission - How to advance the work of the ADP in Doha and Beyond, October 2012

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Practical ideas and suggestions on how the ADP can advance its work, both towards delivering an effective post-2020 agreement and bridging the ambition gap in the pre-2020 period

  • Produce a balanced package from every COP
  • Support ministerial round table
  • Ensure adequate negotiating time
  • Ensure that the ADP co-chairs and facilitators obtain clear mandates to begin work on text 
  • Embrace multi-stakeholder process

How best to advance the work of the ADP in Doha and beyond

  • Set milestones and detailed workplans for both ADP workstreams
  • Take work from other negotiating tracks into account
  • Ensure Civil Society Access to ADP
  • Involve ministerial level negotiators early in the process
  • Incorporate equity into Workstream 1 

Topics or questions that could be used to focus substantive discussions in Doha or in future sessions, building upon the roundtable discussions in Bangkok

  1. How to increase the pledged levels of ambition for Parties, including through enhanced support, to be in compliance with the ultimate objective of the Convention and the agreed 2ºC temperature increase limit
  2. How can we ensure that sufficient, predictable and public finance and other support is provided to meet urgent pre-2020 adaptation needs?
  3. How to ensure that predictable levels of financial, technological and capacity building support are made available to developing countries to implement the NAMAs they have already identified, and further support any additional NAMAs in the short term?

Equity questions:

  1. How should equity principles be applied in the new agreement?
  2. What indicators best specify those principles?
  3. How can we best ensure each Party is doing is its fair share of the global effort without compromising its sustainable development needs?
  4. How will we provide developing countries with the means to implement their commitments and how will we cooperatively ensure that the global emissions reach a rapid and sustainable peak, one consistent with an agreed temperature goal and cumulative emission reduction pathways that would allow the world to stay within that goal?

Practical Ideas and Suggestions on how the ADP can advance its work on bridging the ambition gap in the pre-2020 period


At Doha an ADP workplan to increase short term ambition must be agreed:

  • Informed by a technical paper assessing the gap in ambition and ways to close it and by the progress of the Review; increasing developed country economy wide targets  to close the gap between existing ambition and that needed to keep warming below 1.5oC; ensuring that any new market mechanisms add to overall ambition with stringent rules;  facilitating developing countries to reduce their emissions by rapidly scaling-up public climate finance, focusing on economy-wide or sector-wide actions that would rapidly and significantly lower emission trajectories and supporting initiatives that reduce costs and eliminate barriers and perceived risk, so that low and zero carbon technologies and approaches can quickly become competitive;  
  • To enable developing countries to increase their mitigation and adequately deal with adaptation public finance from 2013-15 must be at least double the amount of the Fast Start Finance, and there should be a process to reassess the adequacy of financial pledges in terms of overall scale required, thematic balance and geographical distribution starting in 2013.  A 2 year Doha Capacity Action Plan should be initiated.


Get Technology's "Boots On the Ground" Grounded

We stand at the precipice of what could be the final stroke of the LCA at COP18 in Doha, and the conversation is turning ever more to the question of how political decisions for various elements of the LCA that have not been fully resolved will be handled post-COP18. ECO sees that the discussion on technology transfer, which cuts across mitigation and adaptation, provides a stark view of what's at stake if the LCA's closing is not properly done, in the light of the sometimes yawning gap between the understandings of developed and the developing countries. 

If you mark the IPCC Assessment Report 1 (1990) as the starting point, the discussion on technology transfer has been ongoing for more than two decades. That’s a lot of work to sit idle if the Technology Mechanism suddenly faced a lack of support, and a staggering missed opportunity to close the mitigation gap and address the growing need for climate adaptation.

As it now stands, the Technology Mechanism lacks full funding even on a short-term basis, its governance and reporting structure are incomplete, its linkages with other bodies inside the Convention are hampered by the chicken/egg dilemma, its cross-cutting support for NAMAs and NAPAs/NAPs is uncertain and ill-defined, and the conversation on what is likely the most political decision of all – how priorities are to be set within the TEC and CTCN – has barely been broached, if at all. Undoubtedly, some of these issues will be addressed and hopefully resolved in Doha, but some of them have little or no hope of finding true resolution in that timeframe, and some are likely to require ongoing political guidance.

As for funding, which must stand above all other issues in terms of a critical path forward, the organisation requested by COP17 to financially support the early operations of the CTCN failed to be chosen, and CTCN support disappeared with the nomination.

So how do we avoid leaving the CTCN – the technology mechanism's "boots on the ground" – up in the air?

As the shaman of Pride Rock, Rafiki, says: "It is time." Let's get those boots grounded with at least five years of interim public funding and let's go kick some adaptation and mitigation bootie!  Oh, and by the way, maybe we might also find a concrete way to ensure appropriate follow-up care for all the outstanding technology transfer and other LCA issues that risk being stranded?


Where There's a Gap, There's a Way

ECO was pleasantly surprised by the tenor of interventions at the ADP roundtable on ambition Saturday. There was widespread acknowledgement that, as things currently stand, we are not on track for limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Many Parties lamented the lack of pre-2020 ambition, with one bright spark noting that failure to take decisive action in the short term has ominous implications for the post-2020 process.

In the words of one delegation “there is a serious gap”. This echoes what scientists have been telling us for some time now. In its “Bridging the Emissions Gap” report published at the end of 2011, UNEP undertook a systematic assessment of the size of what we should by rights be calling the Multi-Gigatonne Gap, concluding that it is in the range of 6-11 Gt.

So even under the most conservative assessment, which assumes perfect implementation of countries’ current pledges, the world is on a pathway to emit 50 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent per year by 2020, instead of the needed 44 gigatonnes or less. This analysis is backed up by a whole host of studies, so it seems the science is pretty solid. We think the sheer scale of the gap should have countries setting up Emergency Emissions Reductions Crisis Centres (ECO would abbreviate them EEKKs! if it were in charge).

One reason for optimism is that as huge as the Multi-Gigatonne Gap is, UNEP estimates that emission reductions of between 14 to 20 Gt of CO2-equivalent are possible by 2020 and without any significant technical or financial breakthroughs needed. What is more, the costs incurred by these reductions would not be prohibitive. That sounds like a win-win situation to us.

So what exactly can countries do to stave off impending global meltdown (unfortunately, we are not talking figuratively here)? As it turns out, there’s rather a large menu of options to choose from. Many actions could be implemented with immediate effect, using existing frameworks outside the UNFCCC. The phase out of HFCs is an excellent case in point. Agreeing to a consumption and production phase-out of these super greenhouse gases under the Montreal Protocol, with cost-effective alternatives made available to developing countries, would avoid a whopping 88-140 gigatonnes/CO2e emissions by 2050 at a very reasonable price – the near-term emissions savings would also be sizeable. This approach was recently endorsed by the nations of the world at the Rio+20 Conference – all it would take now is for Parties to the UNFCCC to do the same, thereby freeing themselves up to tackle other challenges.

Other, equally crucial initiatives countries should undertake include addressing international emissions from aviation and shipping, which together account for a massive 5% of global CO2 emissions, abolishing fossil fuel subsidies and closing the huge loopholes in the current commitments (did you know that up to 13 billion surplus AAUs could make their way into the Kyoto Protocol’s next commitment period?) to name but a non-exhaustive few.

With such a long shopping list of potential measures to chose from, there really is no excuse for inaction.


CAN's Priorities for Bangkok Discussions

The Climate Action Network (CAN) - a global network of over 700 NGOs from more than 90 countries working to promote action to limit climate change to ecologically sustainable levels - is attending the UNFCCC Intersessional Meeting being held in Bangkok from 30 August to 5 September 2012.

CAN believes the following three priority areas need to be discussed in Bangkok:

-       Set expectations for concrete outcomes at COP18 in Doha, especially in terms of agreeing a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol

-       Establishing a workplan with key milestones for the Durban Platform negotiation track, especially in relation to increasing level of short-term mitigation ambition

-       Identify elements that need to be finalized or moved under the long-term cooperation action (LCA) track so that it would close in Doha

Media are advised that non-governmental organisations who are members of CAN are available for interviews and on and off the record briefings, backgrounds and updates on the following climate change issues discussed in the negotiations:

Shared vision and overall political picture
Mitigation and low-carbon development
Equitable effort sharing
Adaptation to the impacts of climate change
Financial support
Technological support
Legal structure
REDD and forests
Aviation and Maritime fuels
Public participation

The CAN team in Bangkok also includes experts from the following regions:

Arab region, Australia, Canada, Central Asia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Latin America, South Africa, South East Asia, United States, West and East Africa.

To be put in touch with the relevant person, please contact CAN Director:

Wael Hmaidan
local phone: +66 (0) 8 9210 4796
email: whmaidan@climatenetwork.org
website: www.climatenetwork.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CANInternational?ref=hl

CAN View: Tackling the Intellectual Property Elements of an Enabling Environment for Technology Transfer, July 2012







Executive Summary

Climate Action Network International (CAN) concurs with the apparent consensus at the third Technology Executive Committee (TEC) meeting (held on the 28th and 29th of May in Bonn) that intellectual property rights (IPR) is an issue in the transfer of climate technologies that could be an incentive, a barrier, neither or both. Furthermore, the determination of which role it plays can only be made at the national/sectoral level on a case-by-case basis. There are cases where IPR has been and can be a barrier and some parties are concerned that it will be a barrier to the transfer of key climate technologies to help mitigate their emissions and enhance their adaptive capacities. On the other hand, technology developers are concerned with the intellectual property enforcement risk in developing economies and potential negative impacts on innovation. In the absence of some guidance on key issues related to IPR from the Technology Mechanism (TM), countries and providers would be left to deal with each IPR issue that arises from scratch, stalling and even derailing much-needed technology deployment. 

But the UNFCCC can play a critical role here to ensure that countries have the tools they need to find resolution in a case where IPR issues threaten to pose a barrier to the transfer of a key climate technology while ensuring that appropriate incentives for technology innovation are maintained.  By providing appropriate guidelines on the use of existing tools and a platform to facilitate various forms of information sharing on IPR solutions among other initiatives, the UNFCCC has the opportunity to proactively prevent IPR from becoming a widespread barrier while building confidence in the TM among both demanders and suppliers of climate technologies.  

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Where is the energy in Rio?

After being energised by the magnificent rhythms and colours of Brazilian samba, ECO realised that there was something strangely missing from the official negotiation agenda: energy. Right now there are no public meetings on the energy paragraphs, and nothing is scheduled for the remainder of the conference. How can this be?

Intelligent and ambitious approaches to energy are crucial to ensure sustainable energy for all and a world free from climate chaos and dirty and risky energy. The energy section deals with a number of critical issues that mustn’t be lost, namely: sustainable energy for all, renewable energy deployment, energy access, energy efficiency, and the critical issue of fossil fuel subsidies.
Unless country delegates take the energy paragraphs seriously and make bold commitments, there is little 
hope in achieving many other goals in the Outcome Document. According to the International Renewable 
Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable technologies are now the most economic solution for off-grid electrification and grid extension in most areas, as well as for centralised grid supply in locations with good resources.
Making progress in phasing out fossil fuel subsidies could free up much needed funding from problems to putting the money into funding solutions. If even a small amount of the hundreds of billions of dollars handed out to the fossil fuel industry were redirected to renewable energy and sustainable development, Rio+20 would represent a helpful and hopeful step forward. But all of that is currently at risk of being ignored, much less realised.
ECO urges negotiators to make sure that energy issues don not disappear into the shadows at Rio+20 and instead are given the priority attention they deserve.


Related Newsletter : 

Climate change and Sustainable Development: Clarifying linkages

Achieving sustainable development entails making progress on the three integrated strands of the social, the environmental and the economic. Climate change and its impacts touch on all the three strands – causing environmental damage and degradation; increasing social vulnerability, and exacerbating economic instability.

The Rio+20 Conference gives us a chance to address two key issues – reinventing our economy and strengthening our international institutions to support and ensure sustainable development. Our ability to build a truly green economy depends on preventing climate disruptions, and dealing with unavoidable impacts of climate in building social, environmental and economic resilience, robustness and integrity. Both adaptation to and mitigation of the impacts of climate change form an integral part of building green economies across the globe so that it actually does become a means to achieving sustainable development.

There are significant concerns that a narrow focus on a green economy will result in the loss of one of the main qualities of the Rio process - an integrated approach to sustainable development and its focus on the three strands of the economic, social and environmental development. There are also fears that focus on a green economy is the next step in a global march to further commercialise and commoditise natural resources and human relations to the detriment of those who are already most vulnerable. Ignoring the climate change agenda and not treating it as an integral part of the sustainable development will only reinforce this concern and further exacerbate the challenges faced.

Within the national context, the long years of treating sustainable development as a separate strain of development, removed from the mainstream economy, requires a serious reorientation and an urgent rethink. As part of this rethink nation states need to reassess the challenges and vulnerabilities their economies face - affecting them environmentally, socially and economically. The devastations of the impacts of climate change – current and future – will need to be counted in the core list of these challenges that we face while we plan and build a green economy.

The window to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic and irreversible runaway climate change is also rapidly closing. Shrinking access of communities to diminishing natural resources, over-utilization of natural resources, unsustainable consumption patterns, and the increasingly fragile and unstable global financial systems are together increasing the vulnerabilities of a large portion of the world's population, exposing them to worsening economic, social, environmental, and climatic impacts. These issues lie at the core of the sustainability agenda that Rio must address. These are reflected in the various issues and themes the Rio process seeks to negotiate.

Globally - and as the consequences of climate change become more visible - freshwater scarcity, access, and sanitation are increasingly issues of concern. Clearly, protecting and restoring water resources are crucial for environmental stability and sustainable development, including poverty eradication, health, agriculture, food security, rural development and hydropower.

Increasing energy access and security within an equitable Green Economy is not only necessary but also entirely doable. The urgency comes from the climate crisis and the current scale of energy deprivation, while the opportunity presents itself in the existing and the prospect of new technologies with the potential to facilitate the necessary energy transformation.

The green economy will not be green if it is built on nuclear and fossil fuel-dependent energy infrastructure. Subsidising the oil, gas and coal industries worldwide demonstrates that nations and the world are not currently financing deployment of sustainable, green and renewable energy. The establishment of an equitable green economy must be accompanied by the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, and other subsidies that harm the environment, distort markets and create barriers to sustainable development.

Technology development and deployment within an equitable green economy would require technology development policy with focus on climate adaptation and dissemination of green technologies that incorporate goals for sustainable development and principles aimed at identifying the range of diverse technologies required for a green gconomy, and facilitation of the maintenance and promotion of environmentally-sound indigenous technologies.

Rio was the birthplace of the UNFCCC. It has now come home to Rio again to seek further ambition and direction in order to build consistency, momentum and comprehensiveness across the multi-lateral framework.

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