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AIT to partner in UNEP’s Climate Technology Centre and Network

The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) participated in the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) held at Bangkok during 21-22 May 2013. The UNEP-led CTCN has been created following a meeting of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held in February 2013.

The consortium is led by UNEP and includes UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), along with 11 international research and development bodies, including AIT. CTCN will be the implementing arm of the Technology Mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Discussing this and other modalities at the first Regional Expert Dialogue in Bangkok on 21-22 May 2013 were AIT’s Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal and Dr. Kyoko Kusakabe. Says Dr. Shobhakar who facilitated a session on ‘Barriers and priorities for climate technology transfer in Asia’, “A key aim of the dialogue was to share ideas for operationalising CTCN.”

Also on the agenda was a discussion on potential expectations of various countries from CTCN and priority areas, Dr. Shobhakar added. CTCN, which takes a demand-driven approach to both mitigation and adaptation technology transfer, will be designating national agencies to proactively identify context-specific needs in different countries. While the first regional dialogue was held in Asia, similar dialogues will be held in other continents. Following the regional dialogue, also facilitated two sessions on ADB-UNEP Pilot Climate Technology Network and Finance Center in Asia Pacific (AP-CTNFC).

CTCN seeks to establish an information platform for improved sharing of knowledge related to climate technologies. It will provide data, reports, and other resources to address the specific needs of developing countries. It will also conduct regional and national workshops on priority issues, entrepreneurship, and the development of policies and programs to attract foreign direct investment.

Speaking at the launch the Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director stated: "Under UNEP's leadership, the Climate Technology Centre and Network will work to accelerate the use of new technologies in improving the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries who are dealing with the impacts of climate change on a daily basis."

"The consortium partners are already engaged in some 1500 activities related to climate technologies in over 150 countries. Together, this expertise and global reach can deliver scaled-up action on mitigation and adaptation, and support the transition to an inclusive, low-carbon green economy," he added.

"The world needs to urgently accelerate climate action across all three central pillars of action - this means international, national and business action. Technology is essential to enable developing countries to pursue sustainable development and to grow their economies in a low carbon, high resilient manner," said Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“AIT will be honored to be a partner and it offers an opportunity for the Institute to play a lead role in helping countries adopt new technology mechanisms,” Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, AIT’s Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs said. Prof. Kumar added CTCN has only two partners in Asia – AIT and TERI in India. Importantly, AIT was the Asian regional centre of excellence to the Technology Needs Assessment initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and coordinated by UNEP-Riso Centre, Denmark for both adaptation and mitigation.

The creation of CTCN was initiated at the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun when countries agreed on a new Technology Mechanism to improve the transfer of climate-related technology, encompassing energy efficiency, renewable energy, early-warning systems, and other fields. The formal decision to establish CTCN was taken at the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference in Doha.

Cohosts of CTCN include United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand), Bariloche Foundation (Argentina), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa), The Energy and Resources Institute (India), Environment and Development Action in the Third World (Senegal), Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Costa Rica), World Agroforestry Centre (Kenya), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (Germany), Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (United States), and United Nations Environment Programme Risø Centre (Denmark).

More information on tCTCN is available at this link: http://www.unep.org/climatechange/ctcn/

The UNEP press release announcing the formation of CTCN can be viewed at this link: http://unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2704&ArticleID=9418