KEY STRATEGIES | Three groups have been shortlisted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) to set up a new Climate Technology Centre and global technology network to accelerate technology transfers for climate change solutions, especially in developing nations.

From nine organisations applying, the three now being analysed are a 13-partner consortium led by the UN Environment Programme and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (the UNEP/UNIDO group are preferred applicants) as well as the World Bank-associated Global Environmental Facility and Det Norske Veritas AS. All three organisations already collaborate on funding and delivering advances for developing countries across Africa, Asia, eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Seven challenges have been identified for the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) to try to fix:

—low capacities in R&D and demonstration,

—low levels of deployment and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies,

—low levels of public and private investment,

—difficulties with soft and hard technologies for adaptation and mitigation,

—inadequate climate change observation and information systems,

—weak national systems of innovation and technology innovation centres, and

—inadequate national technology planning capacities for mitigation and adaptation.

At its latest (36th) session in Bonn, the UN FCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation (of climate change adaptation and mitigation decisions), agreed to negotiate with the UNEP/UNIDO team to help engage widespread collaborative participation in the technology network – and help advance current UN policies towards ‘North-South’, ‘South-South’ and ‘triangular technology’ co-operation.

Organisations associated with the UNEP (Paris, Nairobi) and UNIDO (Vienna) bid include the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand), the Bariloche Foundation (Argentina), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa), the Energy and Research Institute (India), the Environment and Development Action in the Third World (Senegal), the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Kenya), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (Germany), the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (United States) and the UNEP Risø Centre (Denmark).

The Subsidiary Body for Implementation also asked the second-preferred bidder, the Global Environmental Facility based in Washington DC, to support (including funding) the CTCN’s operations ‘without prejudging any selection of the host’.