*This article was contributed to TechCabal by Seth Onyango, Bird Protection Agency
A new program was launched at COP27 to help African countries plan and scale new decarbonization solutions and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change.
The program will drive new capital flows in climate technology to help nations adopt and build renewable energy systems to power their economies.
Senior officials from several governments, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched the initiative, which will run until 2027.
The Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN) – the two bodies of the technology mechanism under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement – have launched their joint work program to accelerate the deployment of transformative climate technologies that urgently need to be addressed need to be climate change.
“The launch of this joint work program is an important opportunity for us to rapidly scale up our efforts to use technology to combat mitigation and adaptation,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.
The Technology Mechanism’s new joint work program covers work from 2023 to 2027 and envisages specific joint activities to be carried out by the TEC and CTCN.
This includes tech roadmaps, work on gender and technology, technology and NDCs and digitalisation, as well as common work areas for the two bodies including national innovation systems, industry and water-energy-food nexus.
Catch up with time
“Time is running out to achieve the main goals of the Paris Agreement. Rapid scaling and effective transfer of climate technologies are essential to limit the rise in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius and build resilience to climate change. A reinvigorated technology mechanism is needed to unleash appropriate climate technologies anywhere in the world, and that is what this new work program seeks to achieve,” said Simon Stiell, UNFCCC Executive Secretary.
Climate technology is an important ingredient to accelerate Africa’s transition from polluting industries to clean sources and promote an energy transition in line with the 1.5 degree target.
The climate technology industry in Africa is growing rapidly, generating more start-ups and attracting investment, although funding is still well below the required level.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC AR6) and Working Group III (IPCC WG III) contributions on climate change mitigation focus on technologies as enablers to accelerate mitigation and promote effective adaptation solutions.
It shows that limiting global warming requires significant changes in primary sectors and domains, including energy and cities, and points to several key areas with high potential for emissions reductions, such as cities/urban areas, industry, agriculture, forestry and land-use change .
A significant milestone in accelerating climate technology on the continent
This joint work program is a significant milestone for the Technology Mechanism and signals a new era of work for climate technology under the Convention and the Paris Agreement.
It is science-driven, aligned with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, and focuses on high-potential sectors and high-impact actions.
On November 15, the United States said it would provide millions of dollars to help implement the joint work program.
US Presidential Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry is optimistic that the Technology Mechanism will spur action through smart technology solutions for climate resilience and mitigation in this crucial decade.
“With this contribution, the United States is supporting a new, strategic approach to technology and innovation cooperation in developing countries and fulfilling an important promise made at COP26. We are committed to ensuring that Parties work together effectively to accelerate action at the scale and pace needed through research, development, demonstration and deployment of climate technologies.”