Climate technology experts representing developed and developing countries are meeting virtually this week to discuss issues ranging from the technologies required to protect coastal areas to research, development and demonstration of clean technologies and technology needs assessment.
The TEC plays a key role in helping countries identify climate technology policies that support them in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Implementing Technology Needs Assessments
One of the main themes at the virtual meeting 1-3 April will be good practices and lessons learned from implementing the results of Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs.) The Technology Executive Committee will develop a policy brief on lessons learned from implementing TNAs and will prepare relevant recommendations to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
TNAs are a long-standing process under the United Nations to assess the technology needs of developing countries to address climate change. Since 2001, more than 80 developing countries have undertaken these assessments, which have led to the implementation of significant projects on the ground to address climate change and its impacts.
In Armenia, for example, unsustainable energy use in buildings has resulted in one-third of households being energy-poor – spending more than 10% of their budget on energy – while half of the energy use in buildings depends on imported fossil fuels. Armenia’s TNA identified improving energy efficiency in buildings as a high priority to reduce emissions, energy poverty and dependence on fossil-fuel imports all at once. As a result, a project focusing on improving energy efficiency through building retrofits has received funding from the Green Climate Fund alongside co-financing from other sources, resulting in a total project value of USD 29.8 million.
A TNA conducted by Ghana identified an ‘Integrated Climate Monitoring and Early Warning System’ as a key priority technology for the country to increase its resilience to climate change. Ghana’s subsequent readiness proposal to the Green Climate Fund, which was approved, aims to strengthen the country’s capacity to build an early warning system for droughts. This will facilitate future interventions that will have positive impacts on organizations and stakeholders involved in dry-season management, including local farmers.
Further concrete examples of the latest climate technology action on the ground in different regions, countries and sectors can be found in a brochure released at the end of 2019 by The UN Climate Change secretariat, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UNEP DTU Partnership.
Technologies for addressing loss and damage in coastal zones
The TEC will finalize the development of a joint policy brief on technologies for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage in coastal zones, in collaboration with the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage (WIM ExCom) and will prepare recommendations on this matter for COP26.
With rising sea levels continuing to threaten coastal areas, there have been increasing efforts in recent years to use emerging technologies to assess coastal risks.
A pilot project by UNESCO and The Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific, for example, aimed at raising awareness of the loss and damage caused by the adverse impacts of climate change in five Pacific SIDS: The Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
The project developed and tested tools and approaches to better understand loss and damage at the community level and made recommendations for follow-up interventions in both research and implementation.
Technology research, development and demonstration (RD&D) will also be considered at the TEC20 meeting, and countries’ experiences and good practices will be shared.
More information on the TEC20 meeting is available here.
Details of virtual participation
The 20th meeting of the UNFCCC’s Technology Executive committee (TEC20) 1-3 April 2020 shifted into digital mode due to the COVID19 crisis.
Observers and the general public can follow the daily proceedings of the meeting via VOICE, (Virtual Online and In-person Conferencing Experience), which was developed by UN Climate Change, with financial support from the German government.
An important special feature of VOICE is that it supports formal structures of UN multilateral meetings, such as requesting the floor, as well as open discussion mode.
Observers are welcome to join the virtual meeting via webcast link. Due to the disparate time zones of the participating members, the daily length of the meeting has been reduced to three hours – from 14:00 – 17:00 CET – and the meeting agenda has also been reduced to the most important agenda items accordingly.