Capacity Building and Technology Update: COP 22 Side Events, Publications Address Role of Technology, Build Capacity for Paris Agreement Implementation
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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During the first week of the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 22), Parties took up a number of agenda items related to capacity building and technology development and transfer.

Numerous side events addressing a range of issues were also held.

Among other things, COP 22 side events addressed Technology Action Plans (TAPs) implementation and the role of technology in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change.

A number of publications and various initiatives contributed to capacity building for Paris Agreement implementation.

12 November 2016: The first week of the Marrakech Climate Change Conference lent focus to a number of agenda items related to capacity building and technology development and transfer. Parties advanced work on, inter alia: the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building under the Convention; capacity building in developing countries, including the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB); linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention; the Poznan Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer; as well as the scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in relation to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

COP 22 Side Events Address TAPs Implementation, Role of Technology in Implementing Paris Agreement

On 9 November 2016, the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism held a side event, titled ‘Technology Mechanism: Enhancing climate technology development and transfer.’ The event focused on the achievements and performance of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) in 2016. [Side Event Programme] [TEC 2016 Key Messages] [CTCN 2016 Key Messages] [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule] [IISD RS ENBOTS Coverage]

On the same day, the UNFCCC Secretariat convened a side event on ‘Supporting the implementation of Technology Action Plans (TAPs).’ The event highlighted success stories with the implementation of TAPs, prepared by developing countries as part of their technology needs assessments (TNAs), to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. [Side Event Webpage] [Side Event Agenda] [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]

Other side events and initiatives of the first week of COP 22 related to technology and capacity building included:

  • ‘Mobilizing Climate Finance for Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Low-Carbon Technology Innovation’ presented by Vietnam and Freie Universität Berlin on 7 November 2016 [Side Event Agenda] [IISD RS ENBOTS Coverage] [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • Launch of the World Alliance for Clean Technologies by the Solar Impulse Foundation on 11 November 2016 [UNFCCC Press Release] [World Alliance for Clean Technologies Website]
  • ‘Opportunities for Africa in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)’ presented by the University of Texas at Austin, the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) and the European Network of Excellence on Geological Storage of CO2 (CO2GeoNet) on 8 November 2016 [IISD RS ENBOTS Coverage] [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • ‘Zambia and Renewable Energy: Rural Electrification Technology Transfer and Hydropower Vulnerability’ presented by Zambia and the University of Cape Town (UCT) on 8 November 2016 [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • ‘Implementing NDCs: Importance of Technology and Capacity Building’ presented by Swaziland and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) on 8 November 2016 Side Event Agenda [Side Event Agenda] [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • ‘Technology and Finance Pathways for Implementing the Paris Agreement and Promoting a Green Economy’ held by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD Pakistan) on 9 November 2016 [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • ‘Transition to Innovative and Clean Technology Demands a New Mindset’ presented by the UNFCCC Climate Change Studio on 11 November 2016 [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • ‘Access to Means of Implementation a Key Concern for Africa Post-Paris’ convened by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Association La Voûte Nubienne (AVN) [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • ‘Building Resilience for Climate Change Adaptation in Archipelagic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)’ presented by Indonesia, the International Coastal and Ocean Organization (ICO) and World Ocean Network (WON) on 11 November 2016 [Side Event Concept Note] [COP 22 Side Events and Exhibits Schedule]
  • ‘International Aviation and Climate Change’ presented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on 12 November 2016, focusing on ICAO capacity-building activities [IISD RS Sources]
  • ‘Climate Classroom at COP 22’ hosted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn), in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP)/UN Environment (UNEP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) project ‘Building Capacity in LDCs to Participate Effectively in Intergovernmental Climate Change Processes’ [Climate Classroom @ COP 22 UN CC:Learn Webpage]

TEC Brochure Presents 2016 Outcomes of TEC’s Work, CTCN Technical Assistance Enhances Mitigation, Adaptation in Antigua and Barbuda

The TEC published a brochure, titled ‘Technology Executive Committee. Performance. Activities. 2016,’ outlining the outcomes of its work in 2016. It highlights, among others: the thematic dialogue on South-South cooperation held on 6 April 2016 as a key event; ‘Enhancing Implementation of TNAs: Guidance for Preparing a TAP’ as a key publication; and consultations on linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism as a key activity. [TEC. Performance. Activities. 2016] [Enhancing Implementation of TNAs: Guidance for Preparing a TAP] [Thematic Dialogue on Enablers and Barriers to South-South Cooperation on Technologies for Adaptation Webpage]

The CTCN has published an update on ongoing technical assistance in Antigua and Barbuda for the establishment of a sustainable financial mechanism for climate change in gaining energy independence. [CTCN Update on Technical Assistance] [Technical Assistance for the Establishment of a Sustainable Financial Mechanism for Climate Change in Gaining Energy Independence Webpage] [CTCN Active Technical Assistance Webpage]

Publications, Initiatives Build Capacity for Paris Agreement Implementation

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), in partnership with the Coalition on Paris Agreement Capacity Building, issued a working paper, titled ‘Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory capacity: An assessment of Asian developing countries.’ The paper reviews the capacity of 37 developing countries in Asia to develop national GHG inventories by using a matrix of capacity indicators. The paper recommends that the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) and other international capacity-building activities direct more of their resources to strengthening countries’ basic technical capacity to support the GHG inventory development process, and address the co-benefits of transparency-related efforts by developing countries. [GHG Emissions Inventory Capacity: An Assessment of Asian Developing Countries]

The CTCN published its 2016 progress report under the title ‘Global Climate Commitments 2016 in Action’ focusing on putting the vision of the Paris Agreement into action and outlining developing country trends in climate technology transfer needs. [CTCN 2016 Progress Report: Global Climate Commitments 2016 in Action] [CTCN Press Release]

UNDP issued a report outlining ‘A New Vision for Weather and Climate Services in Africa.’ The report calls for enabling actions by African leaders to support the sustainability of investments in weather and climate services. It identifies public-private partnerships (PPPs), next generation weather and water monitoring technologies, regional cooperation and capacity building as key drivers in resolving sub-Saharan Africa’s persistent challenges in maintaining sustainable climate information and early warning systems.

UNDP supports climate information and early warning system projects in eleven African countries through its GEF-funded Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa (CIRDA). [A New Vision for Weather and Climate Services in Africa] [Executive Summary] [UNDP CIRDA Webpage]

The role of climate education was highlighted by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In its Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2016 ‘Planet: Education for Environmental Sustainability and Green Growth’ and ‘ACE = Action for Climate Empowerment’ guidelines for policy makers, the Organization promotes the central role for education in international responses to climate change. [GEM Report 2016: Planet: Education for Environmental Sustainability and Green Growth] [ACE = Action for Climate Empowerment] [UNESCO Press Release] [IISD RS Story on GEM 2016 Report]

Other capacity-building activities of the past weeks included the launch by UN CC:Learn of a ‘Resource Guide for Advanced Learning: Climate Change and Cities,’ produced with technical support from the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the commencement of a collaboration among UN CC:Learn and the Connect4Climate global partnership to raise awareness on climate change. [Resource Guide for Advanced Learning: Climate Change and Cities] [Interactive Version of Resource Guide] [Publication Landing Page] [UNITAR Press Release on UN CC:Learn and Connect4Climate Partnership]


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