As long as we can remember, technology has only be progressing forward. Today, we have been blessed with all kinds of genius technologies that serve to make our lives better. The technologies available nowadays are so advanced to the extent that they may be able to undo what is done and save this planet Earth and its inhabitants. However, in order to win the battle against climate change, we may need to practice sharing.
Our expert Jolene Tan will explain what technology is related to climate change and how climate technology transfer is a step towards achieving our goals.
It is called Climate Technology Transfer
by Jolene Tan Mei Peng
Photocredits by techcrunch.com
Since 1750s, technologies and innovations are widely harnessed to resolve mankind’s concerning issues such as food security, clean drinking water, shelter and energy supply. However, the tremendous utilization of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels has further exacerbated global warming owing to the unprecedented increment of greenhouse gas emissions. The outcome of the impacts is predominantly catastrophic particularly on the vulnerable coastal and developing regions. Thus, the international community has agreed to maintain the average global temperature rise to below 2°C by mid-century compared to pre-industrial levels via reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many prominent developed countries including European Union and United States have invested in environmentally sound technologies to address the aforementioned issues. While carbon emissions are falling in the developed countries, there is an increase of carbon emissions in developing countries owing to population booming and urbanization and most of these developing regions are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Hence, there is a call for all countries under the Article 4.5 of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), especially the developed countries to provide mitigation and adaptation technologies to assist developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve resilience against the impacts of climate change.
Stated under the Article 4.5 of UNFCCC:
“The developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II shall take all practicable steps to promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound technologies and know-how to other Parties, particularly to developing countries to enable them to implement the provisions of the Convention.”
The technology being introduced and transferred does not need to be new to the world but novelty to adopters is the critical aspect.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has defined technology transfer as:
“….a broad set of processes covering the flows of know-how, experience and equipment for mitigating and adapting to climate change amongst different stakeholders such as governments, private sector entities, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research/education institutions…”
In COP16, the Technology Mechanism was established to enable enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation. It consists of two components including Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and Climate Technology Centre and Network where technical assistance will be provided at the request of developing countries to accelerate the transfer of climate technologies. It also helps to facilitate collaboration among climate technology stakeholders via the Centre’s network of regional and sectoral experts from academia, the private sector, and public and research institutions.
Technology Transfer Framework has introduced to support Article 4.5 of the Convention which was agreed as part of the Marrakesh Accords. It comprises of five main themes including technology needs assessment (TNA that prioritize on developing countries), enabling environments (e.g. aid government actions on fair trade policies, sound economic policy and removal of legal and administrative barriers to technology transfer), technology information, capacity building (e.g. aid to improve and strengthen scientific and technical skills of Parties from developing countries) and mechanism for technology transfer which helps to monitor the financial, institutional and methodological activities.
Although many initiatives has been introduced, according to Third World Network, the litigation threats on patented technologies are becoming huge hindrances for developing countries to invest in proper technologies for climate mitigation and adaptation. Hence, UNFCCC has appointed Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote investment in technology transfer via Poznan Strategic Program where, GEF will aid to develop and finance the pilot projects and also follow up on the outcomes.
In Malaysia, there is a concern on the Japan-Malaysia joint statement on strategic partnership. This is because Japan has credited leveraging on coal plant investments as a high-efficient technology transfer strategy to adapt and mitigate climate change which is contradictory to the low or zero-carbon emissions policy. Hence, there is a dire need for the government, the public and all the other stakeholders to work together to promote more clean technologies and renewable energies to the Malaysian markets as these are the keys to our future; to facilitate and control the emission of greenhouse gases and keep the world below 2°C.