Using Technology against Climate Change in Asia

Article | 26 November 2012

Dr. Xuedu Lu, ADB's Advisor on climate change and carbon market, talks about the role of technology in mitigating the effects of climate change in Asia and the Pacific.

What is the role of technology in mitigating the effects of climate change?

Environmentally sound technologies play an important role in controlling, reducing and preventing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as well as dealing with the consequences of climate change. Technology transfer is critical in developing countries, particularly in Asia and the Pacific where GHG are rapidly increasing and large populations are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

However, presently low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies are not widely available in the region, and there are many barriers to technology transfer and deployment, such as the lack awareness, insufficient incentive support, and lack of favorable government policies.

What is ADB doing to address this gap?

In response to the call of the international community, ADB and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are working together to establish a pilot Climate Technology Network and Finance Center. This initiative directly addresses the key barriers to climate technology transfer and deployment in Asia and the Pacific by fostering knowledge sharing and public-private partnerships, and developing institutional capacity and climate technology policies.

The technology finance center will be set up in Manila, Philippines, to be managed by ADB, while the climate technology network secretariat will be based in Bangkok, Thailand, to be managed by UNEP.

This initiative falls under the umbrella of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), which was launched in 2010 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to support developing countries in reducing GHG emissions while developing their economy and in adapting to the negative impacts caused by climate change.

What lessons can ADB's pilot project offer for the CTCN?

ADB's and UNEP's Climate Technology Network and Finance Center is in its initial stage of development, but it has already provided us with early lessons to inform the operation of CTCN. One lesson is that it must be demand-driven. We should prioritize support to those who really wish to invest in low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies.

Another lesson is private sector engagement. It will be very crucial to engage the private sector in the process of promoting investment in these technologies, because they will pay more attention to the success of the early-stage and advanced climate technologies, which can help reduce the risk of failure.

How does ADB plan to move forward with the CTCN?

ADB has a team to manage the pilot project and wishes to cooperate closely with the CTCN to share experiences and lessons which can be beneficial to both. To enhance cooperation, it would be best to establish an institutional working relationship between ADB and CTCN.

What developments can we expect at this year's COP18 regarding the CTCN?

Early this year, the UNFCC invited interested organizations to submit a proposal to host the Climate Technology Centre. At COP 18, we expect a decision will be made in this sense, so that the Centre can start to work and provide services as planned.