Business outlines ways to spur clean technology

  • 9 December 2008

Boosting technological know-how in developing countries through better frameworks for education and training would help business to facilitate more rapid advances in clean technology, ICC told negotiators at the 14th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Poznan.

ICC also urged negotiators to support many avenues for technological innovation and to simplify the Clean Development Mechanism, which allows developed countries to help meet their emissions reductions targets under the Kyoto Protocol by investing in projects that lower emissions in developing countries.

“It is clear that the development and global deployment of currently non-commercial technologies in mitigation and adaptation will be essential to manage the long term risks of climate change,” said Brian Flannery, Science, Strategy and Programs Manager in the Safety, Health and Environment Department of Exxon Mobil Corporation and Vice-Chair of ICC’s Commission on Environment and Energy.

The business recommendations were expressed at an event hosted by ICC alongside the conference and detailed in a 16-page paper, “ Technology Development and Deployment to Address Climate Change”, which was released at the event.

“There is a high demand for negotiators here in Poznan to hear from and learn from business on technology matters,” said Zhou Ji, Head of the Environment Protection School at Renmin Daxue, the People’s University of China, and advisor to the Chinese government.

Business supplies the overwhelming majority of investments in the research, development and diffusion of low carbon technology, especially in the developing world. The need for this technology is made all the more urgent and challenging as the world’s population is expected to rise from 6.5 billion to 8 billion and energy demand is forecast to grow by 50% in the next 25 years.

ICC also recommended market solutions, such as voluntary, market-based approaches that offer cost-effective and flexible conditions, and that governments consider all technology options and realize  the important role commercial transactions play in disseminating technology.

ICC also highlighted infrastructure investment as a necessary precondition for technology development and stressed the essential need for strong intellectual property rights protection to underpin technology development.

“The pipeline of innovative technologies is created by market incentives and intellectual property right protection. There is no technology transfer without technological innovation and development,” said Thaddeus Burns, Senior IP Counsel, General Electric and a panellist at the event.

As the main voice for official business and industry input during the two-week meeting, ICC is pressing negotiators representing more than 190 countries to reach agreement on a framework for a global solution to climate change. ICC is also demonstrating the important link between trade and investment and climate change; the private sector’s commitment to finding solutions to climate change; and the need for increased international cooperation.

ICC has long been the main focal point for business views in the UNFCCC negotiations and has a major business delegation participating in Poznan. ICC is hosting a Business Day and three side events during the Poznan conference. Each morning, ICC also hosts a business briefing for all business participants at the conference.