Professor Antonio Pflüger, 2013 Chair of the UN FCCC's Technology Executive Committee.

Professor Antonio Pflüger, 2013 Chair of the UN FCCC’s Technology Executive Committee.

The United Nations has agreed with the Danish Government to manage from Copenhagen the UN’s emerging Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). This is one of two key agencies beginning to lead the ‘Technology Mechanism’ for global climate change solutions that was announced during the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009 and launched at the following conference in Cancun, Mexico, in November 2010.

In February 2013, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) signed a memorandum of understanding with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) to manage the CTCN.

Funding has been promised by the European Commission ($US6.5million), Denmark ($US5.2m), Canada ($US2.5m), Japan ($US2.5m) and the United States ($US1m).

Absent from the CTCN’s initial group of sponsors is the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility. When it lost the UN FCCC’s selection process to manage the CTCN, it was asked to work with UNEP as the CTCN’s primary financier.

Overseeing and supporting the UNEP-managed CTCN will be the other main agency in the Technology Mechanism – the UN FCCC-managed Technology Executive Committee (TEC). This group comprises 20 international technology transfer experts reporting to the UN FCCC’s subsidiary bodies for scientific and technological advice (SBSTA) and implementation (SBI). After an early debate on whether it should be led by an expert from a developed or developing country, it now is being alternately chaired by Professors Antonio Pflüger (Germany, chair 2013) and Gabriel Blanco (Argentina, vice-chair 2013).

The TEC’s main task is to analyse, explain and encourage development and transfers of technologies for mitigation and adaptation of climate challenges in different member states of the UN – especially least developed countries. It has begun drafting a list of potential partner organisations.

Both the TEC and the CTCN will help develop best practice guidelines, action plans and ‘technology roadmaps’ (TRMs).

The CTCN’s current priority is to negotiate with all UN member states the appointments of their ‘national designated entities’ (NDEs) to participate in the network. All NDEs will write technology needs assessments (TNAs) clarifying their priorities for technology assistance. The network’s basic policy is that developed countries will help less developed countries to deliver their TNAs.

Information from UNFCCC TEC Bulletin Vol 205 No 5 and UN Expert Meeting on Technology Roadmaps Bulletin Vol 205 No 4, both released 30 March 2013 by IISD Reporting Services, International Institute for Sustainable Development, New York.