In December 2015, the G20, as part of the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, committed to a historic global agreement to address climate change and pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, so as to mitigate the harmful effects on the world’s people, biodiversity and the global environment.
Technology Working Group
Support for the transfer and proliferation of environmentally sound climate technologies is embedded in Article 4, paragraphs 1(c), 3, 5 and 7 of the Convention. Conceived as early as 2001 and embellished and better-defined as part of the 2007 Bali Action Plan, today’s Technology Mechanism (TM) was mandated in 2010 and became fully operational in December, 2013.
The role of the CAN Technology Working Group is to ensure that the Technology Mechanism lives up to its charge to facilitate the transfer of those technologies that are best suited to meeting the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing country Parties. This means that the transfers are implemented in a “no-regrets” manner, where technologies accomplish Parties’ goals without technology-induced, side effects that were not foreseen and are potentially worse than the climate impacts they were deployed to alleviate.
CAN thanks the Secretariat of the UNFCCC and the members of the Technology Executive Committee for the opportunity to comment on the Technology Needs Assessment and the Technology Action Plan processes. In response to the questions posed by the Secretariat on this topic, CAN submits the following responses, on which we would welcome a broader discussion with the TEC.
Thank you Mr. Chair,
My name is Harshita Bisht and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.
There is an essential piece of the Technology transfer, Development and Diffusion puzzle missing in the negotiations and that is the economic, social and environmental assessment of mitigation and adaptation technologies. Our goal is to maximize the flow of technologies based, on the principle of CBDR, from developed to developing countries. But for this to be productive we need to ensure that transferred technologies will not have unforeseen impacts.
Governments at COP19 in Warsaw agreed to “initiate or intensify preparations of their intended nationally determined contributions” (INDC) to meet the ultimate objective of the convention. It was also agreed that governments in ‘a position to do so’ would submit their INDCs by March 2015. At the Climate Summit in New York, the commitment to come forward with INDCs was further reiterated. Even though there is broad agreement on the need to submit INDCs much ahead of COP 21 in Paris, there is still not enough agreement on the shape of these INDCs.
ECO appreciates the efforts made by several countries in their submissions this month to address the issue of the types of information Parties should submit with their initial post-2020 nationally determined mitigation contributions.
ECO is a fan of transparency, and we’re encouraged by the general agreement on the need for more of it on mitigation here in Bonn. Parties need to start considering the unique needs of transparency for support– particularly to enable the transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
This discussion opens the opportunity to move beyond standard MRV questions. Instead, we can assess whether support ensures that all Parties are enabled to participate to their fullest extent? And are supported technologies respectful of communities and planetary boundaries?
ECO spent yesterday, excitedly, following the renewable energy (RE) workshop. There’s a lot of activity in different countries and a global recognition about RE’s current and future potential.
Presentations from various experts made it clear that this potential is not being fully utilised though. We can double the realisation of RE globally by 2030, as pointed out by IRENA, but there is lack of will. Social gains from RE, like jobs and increased access to electricity, make the need to deploy it at scale an obvious approach.
Has the extreme winter weather that’s gripped North America, the devastating flooding in the UK or the [insert your own top-of-mind climate-related disaster here] made a case for more ambitious action with you and your Party yet? If not, the release of Working Group II’s 5th assessment report on climate impacts at the end of this month surely will. ECO has long said 2014 must be the year of ambition, so let’s start off on the right foot and make the most of our five days together in Bonn.
ECO has noticed with great appreciation that the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) is continuing to move towards greater transparency. Ever since its inception 2 years ago, the TEC has laid the foundation for transparency with their adoption of webcasting and inclusion of observers in thematic dialogues. In the meeting that just ended last week, the TEC outshone its own record of inclusiveness by inviting BINGO; RINGO; ENGO; and IGO observers to take part in many of the thematic task forces. To boot, the secretariat will begin to post notes of the meetings on the TT: Clear website.
Author: Bernadette Fischler, CAFOD. With contributions from: Rachel Garthwaite, Save the Children, Ruth Fuller and Dominic White, WWF UK, Sven Harmeling and Kit Vaughan, CARE, Sarah Wykes, Graham Gordon and Neva Frecheville, CAFOD, Lis Wallace, Progressio. (Supported by CAN and Beyond2015 but not an official position)