Business & UN

ICC event at climate change conference examines technology

  • 11 December 2007

A panel of experts debated ways to bridge the gap between the demand for low-carbon technologies and the lack of supply of such commercially available technologies in the energy sector during a side event at the UN climate change conference in Bali today.

The event, which was organized by ICC, demonstrated what business is already doing to address climate change and looked at ways for companies to accelerate development of clean technologies.

Wendy Poulton, Chair of ICC’s Energy Task Force and General Manager of Corporate Sustainability for the South African utility Eskom, led the discussion. The panellists also exchanged ideas on how to accelerate growth of a skilled workforce in the energy sector, which is currently facing acute shortages.

The panellists included, Jonathan Pershing, Director of the Climate, Energy and Pollution Program at the World Resources Institute; Richard Baron, Deputy Head for Energy Efficiency and Environment at the International Energy Agency; Andre Marcu, Chief Executive Officer of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA); and Gail Kendall, Director of Group Environmental Affairs, CLP Holdings.

Mr Pershing, who is a regular participant in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, focused on consequences for mitigating the effects of climate change. He warned that global discussions were too heavily centred on the $100 billion worth of technology that experts say will be needed to meet climate challenges, and that there was not enough attention being paid to foreign direct investment and domestic investment issues.

“I would suggest that we are going down the wrong path,” Mr Pershing said. “Solving the technology challenge requires investing in all stages of the technological cycle.”

Ms Kendall, who stressed developing country issues and challenges, said: “The problem is not the technology. The technology exists. In the electricity sector, low carbon costs more. The problem is the money.”

Mr Marcu emphasized that a suite of policies was needed to address the variety of solutions to fight climate change.

Negotiators from more than 180 countries are in Bali to launch discussions on an international framework agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The new agreement would succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.