Under the international climate regime, industrialized countries provide developing States, in particular small island developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with financial, technical and capacity-building support to help them implement mitigation and adaptation actions.
A number of key meetings related to technology issues took place over the past few weeks, including the twelfth meeting of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the seventh meeting of the Advisory Board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), which set the course for the years ahead.
The CTCN Advisory Board recently received its 100th request for assistance and kicked off its series of 2016 Stakeholder Engagement Forums.
Some of the various capacity-building activities that took place over the past month focused on renewables, while others traced linkages among climate change, and disaster risk reduction (DRR) and sustainable development.
11 May 2016: Under the international climate regime, industrialized countries provide developing States, in particular small island developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with financial, technical and capacity-building support to help them implement mitigation and adaptation actions. A number of key meetings related to technology issues took place over the past few weeks, including the twelfth meeting of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the seventh meeting of the Advisory Board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), which set the course for the years ahead. The CTCN Advisory Board recently received its 100th request for assistance and kicked off its series of 2016 Stakeholder Engagement Forums. Some of the capacity-building activities that took place over the past month focused on renewables, while others traced linkages among climate change, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and sustainable development.
This Update is the first in a series that address capacity building and technology-related issues within as well as outside the UNFCCC. Climate technology development and transfer, and capacity-building activities for climate action reported on in this update contribute not only to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), but also to SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), and SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture), among others.
TEC Meeting, In-session Dialogue on South-South Cooperation Highlight Technologies for Adaptation
The Technology Mechanism, established by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC in 2010, supports countries in their efforts to accelerate and enhance climate action by helping them develop and transfer technologies for mitigation and adaptation. The Mechanism consists of two complementary bodies, namely the TEC and the CTCN. The TEC addresses policy aspects of climate technology development and transfer, whereas the CTCN serves as the implementation arm of the Mechanism. Consisting of 20 technology experts from developing and developed countries, the TEC meets several times a year and holds climate technology events that support efforts to address key technology policy issues. The CTCN is hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and is supported by 11 partner institutions with expertise in climate technologies. The Centre facilitates a network of national, regional, sectoral and international technology centers, networks, organizations and private sector entities.
The TEC held its twelfth meeting in Bonn, Germany, from 5-8 April 2016, during which it gave particular attention to adaptation technologies, also during the in-session thematic dialogue on South-South cooperation (SSC). The meeting addressed, among other issues: the evolution of the technology activities under the Convention; developing countries’ technology needs assessments (TNAs); climate technology financing; enabling environments and barriers; and technologies for mitigation and adaptation. The meeting’s key outcomes include: adoption of the TEC rolling workplan for 2016-2018; adoption of the TEC communications and outreach strategy; and finalization of the guidance on the preparation of technology action plans (TAPs) for developing countries to use in informing the TNA process. The TEC workplan key focus areas include: climate technology finance; innovation and research, development and demonstration; TNAs; supporting the work of the relevant bodies on the technical examination process for adaptation (A-TEP) and technical examination process for mitigation (M-TEP) mandated by the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC; and work with the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) on National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).
TNAs are a set of activities that developing countries undertake to identify their climate technology priorities. Since 2001, more than 85 developing countries have assessed their technology needs to address climate change. Through the TNA process, developing countries: identify technological means to address climate change and accelerate national development; build national capacity to support sustainable development; and create TAPs to achieve implementation and demonstrate technology viability.
Currently, the UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP) is implementing phase II of the TNA Global Project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which provides financial and technical support to 26 countries to conduct TNAs. Participating countries plan to submit reports on their TNAs in 2017. [TEC Twelfth Meeting Annotated Agenda] [TEC Meetings Webpage] [Decision Adopting Paris Agreement] [IISD RS Sources]
An in-session thematic dialogue on enablers and barriers to South-South cooperation (SSC) on technologies for adaptation took place during the TEC meeting on 6 April 2016. The thematic dialogue provided a platform to share experiences among countries with regard to SSC and Triangular cooperation (TrC) – namely cooperation that involves a donor from the ranks of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an emerging donor in the South and a beneficiary country in the South – related to technologies for adaptation in the areas of agriculture and water. Participants also: identified enablers, barriers and contributing factors to successful development, replication and transfer of technologies for adaptation; identified needs, processes and actions for effective SSC and TrC; and highlighted the TEC’s potential policy recommendations for successful SSC and TrC for development and transfer of technologies for adaptation. [Thematic Dialogue Summary] [Thematic Dialogue Agenda] [Thematic Dialogue Webpage]
CTCN Receives 100th Request for Assistance, Kick-Starts Stakeholder Engagement Forums
The seventh meeting of the CTCN Advisory Board took place in Vienna, Austria, from 11-13 April 2016. Among other issues, members of the Advisory Board addressed CTCN operations moving forward in relation to: technical assistance requests; capacity building; network members and stakeholder engagement; the Knowledge Management System (KMS) and the Technology Library; and gender considerations. They also considered: receipt of the 100th request for assistance from a developing country since the CTCN’s launch in 2014; six Regional Stakeholders Forums to be held in 2016 to strengthen the regional network of nearly 150 National Designated Entities (NDEs), through which requests for assistance are submitted, and NDEs’ relationship with other stakeholders with a view to identify matchmaking opportunities for CTCN requests or other climate technology activities; and further development of the KMS to support developing countries with access to knowledge, know-how and information on technologies. [CTCN Advisory Board Meeting Annotated Agenda] [CTCN Advisory Board Meeting Webpage] [CTCN Press Release on Advisory Board Meeting] [CTCN Press Release on 100th Request for Assistance] [IISD RS Sources]
Recent technology development and transfer activities also included: a CTCN Regional Forum for NDEs from West Asia held in Cairo, Egypt, from 3-4 April 2016; and the first pilot Regional Stakeholder Forum convened by the CTCN, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) GREEN and others in Nairobi, Kenya, from 5-7 April 2016. [CTCN Press Release on Regional Forum in Cairo] [CTCN Press Release on Stakeholder Forum in Nairobi I] [CTCN Press Release on Stakeholder Forum in Nairobi II]
Capacity-Building Activities Focus on Renewables, Agriculture
While the Technology Mechanism represents an established institutional framework for technology development and transfer, the current institutional arrangements for capacity building under the UNFCCC can be described as ‘soft.’ Although according to the Paris Agreement, capacity-building activities shall be enhanced through appropriate institutional arrangements to support its implementation (Art. 11.5), the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) is not yet operational. Therefore, no intersessional developments are reported on here.
Capacity building is implemented at the national, regional and international levels. Green energy was at the forefront of the recent weeks’ capacity development activities. Climate-smart agriculture and carbon capture and storage (CCS) also featured among recent capacity-building events.
A workshop on ‘Green Energy and Sustainable City Planning,’ held in Jeju, Republic of Korea, from 21-24 March 2016, provided a capacity-building platform in the field of green energy and sustainable city planning, including green and renewable energy options as well as challenges and opportunities for applying sustainability concepts in an economic, social and environmental context. The event was organized by the Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders (CIFAL Jeju), an international training center in Jeju, Republic of Korea, with affiliation to the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), in collaboration with the UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) and others. The workshop brought together government officials and representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector from the Asia-Pacific region who focused on a range of key issues, including: green transportation policies and planning; green infrastructure development; green and renewable energy; waste-to-energy; waste management; electric vehicle; power supply from biomass; and wastewater management. [UNITAR Press Release] [CIFAL Jeju Website]
UN-Habitat and local partners launched the Multifunctional Community Center for Renewable Energy Project in the slum of Munhava, around the city of Beira in Mozambique. The project aims to support local economic development and urban resilience, and to provide Munhava inhabitants with access to clean energy, better sanitation and clean water. The Community Center is intended as a place for the production and use of various forms of renewable energy, and is already equipped to produce biogas from human waste, briquettes and solar energy. [UN-Habitat Press Release]
To foster the development of a strategy for local workforce engagement in the clean energy economy, the CTCN, together with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, held a workshop in March 2016 to identify opportunities for increasing the rate of deployment of clean energy technologies while creating local jobs. [CTCN Press Release]
Capacity-Building Initiatives Highlight Interlinkages among Climate Change and DRR, SDGs
In the past few weeks, sustainable development and DRR gained prominence in various climate change-related capacity-building activities, publications and tools.
A CIFAL-Jeju workshop on ‘Developing Capacities on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in the Asia-Pacific Region’ aimed at providing strategies and tools to localize the global frameworks for adaptation and DRR into building safe, resilient and sustainable cities in Asia-Pacific, took place in Jeju, Republic of Korea, from 18-21 April 2016. The workshop’s objectives were: to support the implementation of the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for DRR; to provide an international platform for the exchange of knowledge, best practices and lessons learned across cities; and to promote city-to-city cooperation. [UNITAR Press Release]
A seminar titled ‘Climate Change for Sustainable and Green Development’ was held in New York, US, on 19 April 2016. Organized by the UNITAR and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN, the event was attended by representatives from the LDCs and SIDS who heard presentations on and discussed: the interlinkages among climate change and other global issues, including sustainable development and DRR; and negotiations of the Paris Agreement. [UNITAR Press Release]
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a publication titled ‘Climate Prediction for Small Island Nations: Managing risks, maximizing opportunities,’ which describes how SIDS are using seasonal predictions and other climate information to improve their economies, better manage their resources and strengthen their nations’ climate resilience. In his introduction to the brochure, Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General, highlights the importance of investments in DRR, including early warning systems and adaptation measures for critical sectors, for building resilient communities and facilitating sustainable development. [Publication: Climate Prediction for Small Island Nations] [WMO Press Release]
In order to improve disaster preparedness efforts and overall disaster risk management (DRM) in the Greater Horn of Africa region, the UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNITAR-UNOSAT) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) launched a Flood Hazard Map of the Greater Horn of Africa, which was first presented during a UNOSAT-ICPAC workshop during the 42nd Greater Horn of Africa Outlook Forum (GHACOF-42) in Kigali, Rwanda, in February 2016. Using a statistical approach based on river flow data, the map provides a riverine flood hazard assessment for ICPAC member countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) showing the extent of potential flood events. This information can then be used to reduce the impacts of natural hazards. [IGAD-ICPAC Live Map] [UNITAR Press Release] [IISD-RS GHACOF-42 Event Post]
Bonn Climate Change Conference Outlook
The 44th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 44) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 44) as well as the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1) will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 16-26 May 2016. SB 44 will consider technology development and transfer, and capacity building issues under various agenda items.
With regard to technology development and transfer, SBI and SBSTA will consider, respectively: the scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in relation to supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement; and a technology framework under Article 10.4 of the Paris Agreement (establishment of a technology framework to provide overarching guidance to the work of the Technology Mechanism). An in-session workshop will be held on linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention on 21 May 2016. A side-event on ‘Supporting the implementation of Technology Action Plans’ will take place on 18 May 2016, and will include the launch of a guidebook to help developing countries prepare TAPs that have a greater opportunity of receiving financial support and being implemented. [SBI Provisional Annotated Agenda] [SBSTA Provisional Annotated Agenda] [Workshop Webpage] [Schedule of Side Events and Exhibits during SB 44]
With respect to capacity building, SBI will engage Parties in negotiations on: the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries; and the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building. In preparation for the negotiations, the UNFCCC Secretariat released the following relevant documents: capacity-building work of bodies established under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol (compilation and synthesis report by the Secretariat) (FCCC/SBI/2016/3); implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries (synthesis report by the Secretariat) (FCCC/SBI/2016/4); and information and views on capacity-building matters (submissions from Parties) (FCCC/SBI/2016/MISC.1). The Secretariat has also released a technical paper titled ‘Third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries’ (FCCC/TP/2016/1), which was prepared to support Parties in conducting the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries established under decision 2/CP.7. It provides a synthesis and initial assessment of actions undertaken to implement the framework and of gaps and needs that have emerged in the course of its implementation. The paper covers capacity-building activities reported between January 2012 and March 2016, which is the period between the completion of the second and the conduct of the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the capacity-building framework. [Capacity Building Negotiations Webpage] [SBI 44 Documents Webpage]
Also, the fifth meeting of the Durban Forum on capacity-building will take place from 23-24 May 2016. The Durban Forum on Capacity-building is an annual in-session SBI event that brings together stakeholders involved in building the capacity of developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Its meetings aim to improve the monitoring and review of the effectiveness of capacity building within the intergovernmental climate change process. The Durban Forum also attempts to fill in the information gaps by providing an overview of the capacity-building support being provided to developing countries. [Fifth Meeting of the Durban Forum Webpage]