A collective of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are making significant progress in devising action plans to implement climate technology.
In the fourth iteration of the global Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) project, the fifteen countries involved have largely finalized their selection of primary sectors and climate technologies for adaptation and mitigation. They are now advancing to the vital second phase of the TNA process, which involves recognizing obstacles to broader implementation and formulating strategies to address these challenges.
These strategies will be integrated into actionable plans through detailed discussions with relevant national authorities. These plans will serve as the foundation for the third phase, the Technology Action Plans (TAPs), which are the primary outcomes of this initiative.
In 2023, teams from various countries participated in regional training workshops. These workshops offered valuable opportunities for the teams to interact with their counterparts from other countries, exchange experiences and ideas, and enhance their skills in the analytical processes needed for the second and third phases of the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA). The UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre and the corresponding Regional Centres provided expert guidance.
We are focusing on water, agriculture, energy, and transportation.
Countries have generally focused their efforts on two to three key sectors for adaptation and mitigation, also selecting two to three specific technologies within each industry. Agriculture and Water are the most common sectors targeted for adaptation, aligning with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), while Energy and Transport are predominantly chosen for mitigation.
In certain cases, Coastal Zones have been highlighted for adaptation, indicating the specific challenges faced by these countries. Similarly, a few countries have identified Forestry/AFOLU and Waste Management as critical areas for mitigation.
This approach does not imply that these are the only sectors relevant to climate change. Rather, it suggests that targeting a limited number of industries and technologies allows for more in-depth impacts, as focused efforts can significantly boost the diffusion of these initiatives.
Technologies based on national needs
Across the countries examined, certain technologies are repeatedly emphasized. Agriculture, a primary productive sector in nearly all these nations, relies heavily on water supply. This becomes even more critical given the ongoing climate challenges and the need for a stable water supply to bolster resilience against these changes.
Consequently, techniques such as rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, and solar-powered water systems are commonly included in many countries’ strategic plans. These technologies are essential for adapting to climate change’s impacts, requiring significant deployment expansion.
In the case of several participating small island states, the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and extreme weather events, are already severe. For these states, technologies focused on coastal defense and strategies for relocating populations are of high importance and are being prioritized accordingly.
Addressing the local impacts on the environment
Despite their minimal contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, participating Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) place a significant emphasis on adopting clean and efficient energy technologies. These technologies contribute to vital developmental benefits and help mitigate local environmental issues.
Many countries emphasize solar lighting, energy-efficient cookstoves, and energy-saving appliances in their prioritized technology lists. The transportation sector is also recognized for its dual benefits in climate mitigation and development.
While the adoption of electric vehicles remains a challenge for much of the population in these countries, the focus is on enhancing efficient public transport systems and the renewal and maintenance of vehicle fleets and road infrastructure.
Technologies in the Waste and Forestry/Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sectors are also important in several countries. These technologies are vital for reducing GHG emissions and supporting local sustainable development.
Expanding on the topic of Technology Needs Assessments:
Notably, a significant portion of the participating LDCs and SIDS are on track to finishing the Barrier Analysis and Enabling Framework (BAEF) phase in early 2024. Additionally, they are expected to finalize the Technology Action Plans (TAPs), which will encompass policy briefs, by mid-2024. These initiatives within each country’s project will conclude with developing draft concept notes to secure financing for specific technology solutions.”