Climate change

Effective technology development and deployment is key to meeting climate change

  • 8 April 2009

The development and global deployment of advanced low emissions technologies to address climate change will require appropriate institutional frameworks, intellectual property rights protection, and innovative funding mechanisms, ICC told the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

But the economic and technological flows required between countries to address climate change will also necessitate strengthened multilateral trade and investment, ICC said at the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change talks.

“Concerted, global support for research and development will need to be put in place in order to increase the pace of change for certain technologies,” said Nick Campbell, chair of ICC Climate Change Task Force. “Innovative public-private partnerships that foster rapid development of advanced technologies to reduce emissions will play a pivotal role.”

Mr Campbell spoke at an ICC-sponsored event on Technology Development and Deployment on the sidelines of the Bonn discussions. The event brought together business experts and government negotiators to examine scaling-up technology dissemination, principally to developing countries.

Business has a key role to play to meet the challenge of climate change. As the business and industry focal point at the UNFCCC, ICC has been working for many years to deliver practical solutions to reduce emissions and create a pathway to a low carbon economy.

But time is short, with the Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Copenhagen in December rapidly approaching. As government negotiators begin to develop the architecture needed to create a comprehensive agreement, ICC has urged them to create the enabling frameworks to help business scale up the full range of technological solutions needed to address climate change.

“Successful technology transfer requires common, stable and predicable rules for business as well as the ability to enforce violations of such laws , government incentives for good actors and punishments for violators,” said Thaddeus Burns, GE Senior IP Counsel. “Large investments in research and development are required for technological advances, and intellectual property protection is a necessary driving force behind private investment.”

Eduardo Reyes, Sub-Administrador General and Panamanian government negotiator, stressed the role of the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanisms as an instrument that has played an important role for technology transfer in Panama.

“Transfers of technology should provide the means to sustainable development, particularly for developing countries,” he said. “The p rivate sector is a key stakeholder to introduce technology in general. ”

This sentiment was furthered by Professor Zhou Ji Head of the Environment Protection School at Renmin Daxue, the People’s University of China and Chinese negotiator who suggested business should work with governments “to find the right institutional and policy frameworks that facilitate technology transfer and lower transaction costs for developing countries”

ICC is ready to engage with key government officials such as the UNFCCC Experts Group on Technology Transfer to help define the frameworks needed for global business to deploy the necessary solutions.

“The global economic crisis has highlighted the need to work efficiently and cooperatively to develop the policy and financial drivers needed to delink environmental impacts from economic growth and shape a future global low-emissions economy,” remarked Guy Sebban, ICC Secretary General .

“The current global crisis must not be used as an excuse for delaying effective action to combat climate change and the rapid and successful attainment of environmental objectives should be a priority in government stimulus plans,” he said.

During recent meetings of the ICC Commission on Environment and Energy Commission, it was agreed to build on and develop an ambitious plan of action to help governments design the policies required to unleash the technological and financial resources needed to solve climate change. This will include work in areas including technology, intellectual property, finance and energy options for today and tomorrow.

ICC will continue to lead business engagement on the “Road to Copenhagen” by providing a full range of business expertise throughout the year.

In addition, the 6th World Chambers Congress in Kuala Lumpur, 3-5 June will focus on “Leading sustainable growth and change” as its theme and will examine the economic implications of climate change.