Technology transfer—an essential component in climate change strategy

A comprehensive climate change strategy encompasses coherent policies and actions with respect to mitigation and adaptation.

– Mitigation involves reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and enhancing carbon dioxide (CO2) sinks aimed at reducing the extent of global warming.
– Adaptation refers to the sensitivity, vulnerability and adjustment capacity of natural and human systems to climate change and its potential consequences.

Technology is an essential component of this comprehensive climate change strategy and a broad spectrum of advanced technologies already exists for mitigating and adapting to climate change. New technologies are also likely to emerge as a result of focused research, development and international cooperative partnership initiatives.

There is an increasing recognition that technology development and transfer will play a major role in global and national strategies to combat climate change. The effective and timely development and transfer of technologies from developed to emerging countries is therefore essential for pursuing sustainable development goals and objectives.

A major need is identify mechanisms for overcoming the barriers and obstacles to technology transfer and for enhancing international cooperation is a major priority.

All countries will need to undertake both adaptation and mitigation measures though the extent of these measures will depend on their respective national circumstances and sustainable development criteria and goals.

– The lesser developed countries (LDCs) will be able to focus their limited resources and capacities more on adaptation than on mitigation measures.
– Emerging countries with greater capacities and potential for mitigation will need both mitigation and adaptation measures,
– while developed countries will be able to focus their much larger capacities on mitigation.

Technology development and technology transfer

Technology has been the driver of economic and social development worldwide but not all countries have had the capacity to develop and maintain the technologies they require.  Because technology is so important for achieving climate change stabilisation, the need for enhanced capabilities has made technology transfer a priority high on the international development agenda as well as in climate change negotiations.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines technology transfer as a broad set of processes covering the flows of know-how, experience and equipment for mitigation and adapting to climate change among different stakeholders such as governments, private sector entities, financial institutions, NGOs and research/education institutions.

It has now become evident that technology can only be absorbed by the recipient country if there is some level of domestic capacity.  This is why all climate change discussions and initiatives have stressed the need for cooperation between developed and emerging countries for the promotion of technology transfer.

International technology cooperation and partnerships need to be fully utilised to accelerate wide-ranging win-win technology transfer for economic growth and poverty reduction and for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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