We Need a Technology Framework That is Fit for Purpose
3 December 2018
Dear delegates, Silesia remains one of the final refuges for an industry that needs to be consigned to the history books. The needed phase out from coal and transition to a 100% renewable energy future only serves to highlight the importance of environmentally and socially sound technology in ensuring that we effectively address climate change and limit warming to 1.5oC.
The Technology Mechanism is about more than just the limited technical assistance we see today. The new Technology Framework under the Paris Agreement must include support and finance for local technology innovation and not just support for new and emerging technologies from developed countries. Innovation and local design needs to be nurtured, and some failure needs to be accepted, if the right technologies are to be developed that deliver on 1.5oC and enable effective adaptation. Support must be based on need, however putting support into Technology Needs Assessments alone is inadequate and piecemeal, and will not deliver the technology that is urgently needed by the vast majority of developing countries.
Finally, the process must involve the private sector, but it mustn’t be designed only to meet their market needs. Everyone knows that the introduction of new technologies is initially expensive, and can require incremental adjustments to meet specific needs. We must focus support where liberal market mechanisms alone will not serve the needs of the most climate vulnerable populations. Under the Paris Agreement, it is vital that we do not miss the 1.5 oC target in the pursuit of private profits. Not all technologies will be financially viable, but may deliver enormous environmental and social benefits, so we mustn’t overlook this social and ecological value in the pursuit of a short sighted Technology Framework that is currently being considered.