A UN network that helps transfer technologies and skills from richer countries to the developing world has received a $23 million boost to scale up its operations.
The donation from the European Union, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and the United States was announced at the COP22 climate change summit in Marrakesh last week (16 November).
To ensure low carbon technologies and knowledge are also available in developing countries, the Paris Agreement established a global Technology Mechanism. It will rely on the UN’s existing Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) for its practical implementation.
UNFCCC chief Patricia Espinosa urged other countries to also “contribute so that the CTCN realises its full potential in connecting developing countries to the innovative and relevant technologies they seek”.
Organisations like Climate-KIC, the EU’s climate innovation initiative, are members of the CTCN network and respond to assistance at the request of developing countries across a broad range of mitigation and adaptation technology and policy sectors.
The CTCN says it has already received 160 requests for assistance from countries.
CTCN Director Jukka Uosukainen described the network’s role like this: “Through our network, we bring together a diverse global community of climate technology decision makers, suppliers and financiers to identify barriers to technology transfer, exchange technology experience, and provide technical assistance and capacity building to developing countries.”
Support from richer countries to enable developing nations to make the shift to a zero-carbon economy is seen as a crucial part of the Paris Agreement. Without it, carbon emissions from countries like India could spin out of control as their growing economies demand increasing amounts of cheap energy.
Meanwhile, the most vulnerable countries are running out of time to implement adaptation measures that fend off the effects of climate change brought on by a century of carbon emissions from other parts of the world.
Climate-KIC head of policy Andrea Karpati recently wrote that the “the implementation of [the Paris Agreement] could be achieved a lot faster and more effectively than currently imagined,” if the UN can deploy innovative partnership models at the core of its framework for collaboration and takes advantage of the knowledge and networks that already exists around the world.
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