On the technology framework – will it be useful?

About the technology framework

Article 10, paragraph 4 of the Paris Agreement has established a technology framework to provide an overarching guidance to the work of the current Technology Mechanism.  The principles of this framework, which includes coherence, inclusiveness, result-oriented approach, transformational approach and transparency will provide guidance on the promotion and facilitation of technology development and transfer. This supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement, in the pursuit of its long-term vision of improving resilience to climate change as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Purpose of the technology framework

So will the technology framework help the Technology Mechanism? What do Parties think of the framework? Here in Bangkok, I attended informal consultations regarding technology framework as well as the Technology Mechanism to find the answers.

Informal consultations in SB48-2

The informal consultations, aka negotiations on technology development and transfer were discussed in two of the subsidiary bodies to the UNFCCC, which are the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). In SB48-2, SBSTA covers matters regarding the technology framework (Agenda 5), while SBI covers matters regarding the Technology Mechanism (Agenda 14a).

In means to guide the flow of the negotiations, Parties were asked to comment on the following questions regarding the framework:-

  1. Is the technology framework a guidance for Technology Mechanism?
  2. Is the guidance clear enough? Does it align with the principles of the technology framework?
  3. Is the guidance in coherence with the provisions in the technology framework? Does it repeat or overlap with other provisions?

During the first informal consultations, one Party specifically commented that tremendous progress have been made since the last meeting in Bonn, and hopes that this session in Bangkok will be as efficient as before. But has it? Well, sort of.

What do Parties think of the Technology framework?

Generally, parties had shown their positive views towards the framework. Nevertheless, the framework itself have much room left for improvement, in terms of the small scope of the entire framework, taking into account the fact that this framework is supposed to guide the already existing Technology Mechanism.

One of the major issues that was brought up during the informal consultations by developing countries was that developing countries lack financial resources for the technology framework. Although developing country Parties have all agreed that more financial resources should come from developed countries, developed country Parties did not align themselves with the idea. “I will lose my job if I align my country with said proposal.” However, without compromising, the technology framework may not be able to meet its principles of being inclusive. Another issue that has been brought up by Parties were that the structure of the framework itself does not contain elements that specifies the guidance from the framework to the Technology Mechanism.

With some of the Parties browsing through Facebook and some of the observers snoring beside me, I wonder if the sessions of informal consultation for technology development and transfer are held important at all. From my point of view, at this stage of negotiations, the technology framework may not reach its full potential in facilitating the Technology Mechanism. It is, unless developed and developing country Parties cooperate and compromise in Katowice, the framework will just be rendered pointless. Also, considering the fact the scope of the technology framework is covers only this much, will the technology framework actually complement the existing Technology Mechanism and help in improving it? We’ll know very soon.

Written by Kitty Chen
Peer reviewed by Jasmin

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