Friday, November 22’s issue of the Climate Action Network’s publication ECO described the full operationalization of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (“CTCN”) as “the good news story of COP19.” Indeed, a global network of experts committed to collaborating with developing nations to implement imperative climate technologies upon request is a significant success in globally addressing climate change. Nevertheless, ECO makes suggestions for improvements to the policies behind the Technology Mechanism.
The Technology Executive Committee (“TEC”) is the policy arm behind the CTCN’s technology implementation. ECO suggests the TEC should develop a Global Technology Action Plan. This would offer optimized plans for technology choices, and allow countries to choose certain paths for mitigation from a pre-designated selection. This may be unlikely to happen, as CTCN is focused on achieving the technology goals of nations based on the plans of national governments. Presenting preconceived options seems to deviate from this principle.
ECO also recommends defining the term “environmentally sound technologies,” which is instrumental in the CTCN’s founding language from Cancun (1/CP.16, para 123). This could deter the development of dangerous and radical climate technologies. Regardless of any radical technologies that might emerge, it is important to define the “environmentally sound” term that is central to the purpose of the CTCN.
ECO also discusses funding. A multitude of things will fund the CTCN, including the UNFCCC, but it will likely rely heavily on public and private contributions. So far, countries have pledged $22 million dollars. However, ECO states that these are one-time pledges, and that CTCN needs reliable, long-term funding to be successful. The CTCN is a critical resource for developing nations, so finding consistent funding will be important for global climate technology in the future.
The operationalization of CTCN is an important success from COP19. Many claim that the UNFCCC system is incapable of finding new international solutions to climate change. The CTCN shows that the UNFCCC is capable of producing global mechanisms that advance Party nations’ goals to mitigate and adapt. COP19 has produced an invaluable resource for countries in need of new climate technologies. Hopefully, this may restore some confidence in the UNFCCC’s effectiveness.