Last month, on Nov 4th 2016, the Paris Agreement entered into force, signifying a historic milestone for ongoing international efforts to address climate change. With the backing of 110 countries and counting, this agreement seeks to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. A week later, the international community came together once again to forward this objective at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

A Boost to Climate Technology Transfer Globally

Dubbed the ‘COP of Action’, this assembly aimed to build on existing momentum from Paris. The conference focused on the creation of concrete action by participating nations in areas such as adaptation, mitigation, capacity building and technology transfer. To this end, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and the United States committed $23 million USD pledged to the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).

Established at COP 16 and created as the operational arm of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism,  CTCN promotes the accelerated transfer of technologies for low carbon and climate resilient development, at the request of developing countries. They provide technology solutions, capacity building and advice on policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, all tailored to the needs of individual countries.

The CTCN has assembled a network of climate technology experts from around the world. One of the CTCN’s main activities is providing technical assistance in response to requests submitted by developing countries. When the CTCN receives a request, they mobilize the network to design and deliver a customized solutions tailored to local needs. This network therefore presents significant opportunities for Canada’s Cleantech industry to share and deploy their technologies globally.

Canada’s Role in Global Transition to Low Carbon Economy

There are innovative, clean technologies available in Canada today that could prove instrumental in providing effective solutions to climate change. Through technology transfer, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@MaRSDD” suffix=”#Futureofenergy”]Canada’s cleantech industry can play a significant role in the global transition to a low carbon economy[/inlinetweet].

One example of a company that exemplified the potential for impact is SunFarmer, a Canadian solar developer deploying innovative financing models to enable solar energy for communities in developing countries. SunFarmer’s mission is to eliminate energy poverty in the developing world with solar. To date they have completed over 100 solar projects across Nepal. SunFarmer is one of the eleven Canadian companies currently part of the CTCN network.

CTCN Removes Barriers to Climate Technology Transfer

There are a number of barriers to transferring of climate technologies to developing countries, which the CTCN aim to address. These include:

  • Knowledge – Limited capacity to assess, adopt, adapt, and absorb technologies; lack of knowledge of technology operation and management; lack of skilled personnel/training facilities; lack of standards, codes and certification for technologies.
  • Institutional – Uncertain or lacking public policies; lack of institutional coordination
  • Financial – Lack of access to financing; lack of proven business models in developing countries contexts; lack of instruments such as incentives and risk mitigation mechanisms.

In addition, the CTCN notes, that it is important to involve these communities at the very early stages of a project and to make sure that the technology addresses an actual need. They note, “buy-in from local and/or national authorities is needed to ensure the sustainability of adaption and mitigation efforts, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the feasibility and appropriateness of technologies to the local context.” “There is often also a significant need for building the capacities of these communities, so that they can use the transferred technologies effectively and benefit from them” says CTCN.

Removing Barriers through Collaboration

The CTCN strives to alleviate these barriers and offers the support and network necessary to realize successful project development and capacity building.  Although there are other models similar to CTCN around the world, CTCN is the only network established by the COP of the UNFCCC and that focuses specifically on technology across all sectors of adaptation and mitigation.

The organisation currently has over 160 requests for technical assistance from around the world, with almost a third of these relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. It is actively seeking members to take part in its delivery of technical services, information exchange and capacity building activities. Members of the network get pre-qualified access to competitive bidding for delivery of CTCN technical assistance services to developing countries.

Climate change adaption and mitigation is currently being discussed on the world stage, and countries across the globe are coming together to collectively tackle these issues. Canada has a potentially significant role to play in transferring its expertise for the development of low carbon, resilient communities. The Climate Technology Centre and Network is a valuable resource that leverages the expertise of global partners like Canada, to support the deployment of climate technologies in developing nations across the world.


About the Advanced Energy Centre

At the Advanced Energy Centre we focus on catalyzing the adoption of innovation in the energy sector, by breaking down barriers to deployment of advanced energy technologies. We help export-ready Canadian companies by providing market insights, soft landing programs and access to networks in emerging markets. Recognizing the opportunities available for the deployment of resilient and low carbon technologies through the CTCN network, the AEC itself recently joined the as a network member. Companies interested in learning more about the CTCN network should visit their website.

Roisin Grimes

Roisin Grimes was an Associate at the Advanced Energy Centre. See more…