New Delhi: India’s proposal for a worldwide network of innovation centres for climate friendly technologies has met with broad consensus approval at the ongoing climate change conference at Copenhagen.
This is a significant move on the technology aspect in climate change, which has been hanging fire so far.
Though any consensus on the contentious issue of intellectual property rights is far from realization, the consensus text on innovation centres should be complete in the next 48 hours.
Strategic move: UNFCCC executive secretary Yvo de Boer said there is real seriousness now to negotiate; good progress is being made in a number of areas, especially in the area of technology. Claus Bjorn Larsen / AP
“There is real seriousness now to negotiate; good progress is being made in a number of areas, especially in the area of technology,” said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), at a press conference.
India had earlier proposed an international network of the climate innovation centres (CICs) as vehicles for enhancing technology innovation in developing countries to accelerate and scale up deployment of technologies that can help these countries meet pressing energy and climate challenges while advancing sustainable development.
These centres will represent an international collaborative effort that will bring together global capabilities and the needs of developing countries.
The issue that is yet to be resolved is the list of programmes and activities and the kinds of technologies, which will be included for collaboration.
“They want to give us a pebble but we want a rock,” said Ajay Mathur, director general, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, who has led the proposal on CICs and is also the chair for the Group of 77 coordination group on technology. The annex 1 countries, which are developed countries have presented a much abbreviated list of technologies compared with that provided by developing nations.
India’s proposal was held up in the plenary meeting on Thursday as a good example for cooperation. It “has achieved amazing results in a short time,” said Bernarditas de Castro-Muller, a climate negotiator from the Philippines. This is the first time any agreement has been reached on the issue of technology transfer, as even the discussions held at the Kyoto meeting did not throw up an accord.
CICs will be focused on local development needs and on the technical front, it might involve adaptation of a technology for local conditions, such as wind turbines and components for extreme weather conditions (or poor wind regimes); the development of a product around an existing technology such as the development of photovoltaic-based lighting systems to provide cost-effective solution for rural areas; or development of technologies that meet specific local needs that will not be serviced by global technology markets such as improved cookstoves to provide higher-efficiency and lower-polluting options.
India’s proposal also suggested that each centre would be governed by a board consisting of representatives of the host country, donor governments and funding agencies, industry and civil society representatives, and management, technical, and policy experts.
The slowest progress so far, at the summit, has been in the arena of financial help. Apart from a broad consensus that any finance from the rich to the poor countries will flow through UNFCCC, no progress has been made by the 192 countries.