Resurrecting the Technology Framework

7 September 2018

Technology transfer is vital if we are serious about limiting warming to 1.5°C. The technology framework was included in the Paris Agreement to provide guidance on technology as part of the means of implementation. The framework was meant to enhance the process of delivering technology to support transformational climate action.

Since Paris however, Parties have lost their ability to dream big and develop the technology framework that the world needs. During negotiations on the structure of the framework, one party said that everything being discussed was agreed as part of the technology mechanism created in Cancun! Isn’t the point of having the framework as part of the Paris Agreement a recognition that we need to do more? It is worth remembering that €“ as ECO has previously pointed out – the technology mechanism has been stymied by the lack of funding and struggled to get past the first stage of top down, gender-blind technology needs assessments.

The framework negotiations may have lots of text, but as far as progressing forward with true technology design, innovation and transfer, it still feels like we are stuck at square one. Parties have been happy to bog themselves down in rhetorical details, debating euphemisms of the framework ranging from skeletons to castles and closets, but have shied away from anything that can turn a needs assessment into a transformative plan of action with tangible results for the most climate vulnerable nations.

Without a strong framework to transform the Technology Mechanism (TM) into an effective operating body, we won’t see the transformational, participatory approach that is needed. This leaves developing countries without one of the key forms of support that they have repeatedly asked for in their NDCs and Technology Need Assessments (TNAs). Heading towards Katowice, ECO urges Parties to dream bigger than what is being discussed in Bangkok and deliver on the technology framework that the world really needs: one that mobilises finance, prioritises the needs of the most climate vulnerable, and builds the capacity of developing countries to progress on their own innovative solutions to address climate impacts.

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