Technology: The Final Frontier

1 September 2015

It’s heartening that many Parties (though by no means all!) are pushing hard to get the right amount of climate finance on the table in Paris. It should be clear to all that without it, there will be no intergenerational equity.

Equally important is how that money is spent. With growing angst that the Kyoto Protocol’s Joint Implementation mechanism has fallen far short in promised emissions reductions, we must likewise make sure that any technology deployment provisions in the new post-2020 agreement are held to a high standard. Let’s talk frankly about how we can make that happen.

The legal agreement must include a Global Technology Goal that ties Technology Transfer to success in meeting the pathway to the temperature goal accepted by the agreement. At present, this provision (paragraph 70) is relegated to Section III, where the Co-Chairs have placed text needing further clarity.

We need to reference the existing Technology Mechanism in the Paris agreement and keep open the opportunity to include other such efforts into the agreement as they come online; there is no time to reinvent the wheel. That said, we should also make the improvements needed to ensure excellent outcomes as part of COP decisions. These would include:

  • Strengthening of the Technology Mechanism to include special circumstances in Africa, the LDCs and SIDs, emphasising the most marginalised.
  • Addressing R&D barriers to Technology Transfer, including collaborative R&D prioritised for the most vulnerable countries and communities.
  • Ensuring appropriate Technology Assessment with inclusive CSO participation, a gender perspective, and integrated, multilateral, independent and participatory evaluation of technologies for their social, economic and environmental impacts.
  • Finally, all of these safeguards above need to be respected and fully implemented by the GCF-certified bodies that do project funding.

Technology: The Final Frontier

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