Technology Transfer through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), one of the most essential tools for globally fighting climate change is the development and transfer of technology. All nations in the Convention should be promoting and enhancing technology created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, developed nations should help promote, facilitate, and finance this transfer to developing nations with fewer means. The extent to which developing countries execute their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions directly rests with the assistance of developed countries (UNFCCC).

The UNFCCC organized the Technology Mechanism to enable this transfer and development. This is composed of two organizations: the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).  TEC is comprised of over 20 technology experts and works to solve policy issues and implement new policies between developed and developing nations. CTCN provides free technical assistance to developing nations, a database with access to technology information and tools, and a network for international collaboration (UNFCCC 2015). The UNFCCC also keeps the public informed through TT:CLEAR- a subsite of their website, which houses all information on climate technology. It hosts extensive, updated knowledge on their projects, policies, support, and more.

Another essential organization is the Global Environment Facility (GEF). This was created through the Poznan strategic program on technology transfer (PSP), and helps give additional funding for climate technologies, along with technology needs assessments (TNA’s). These assessments help form the foundation of technology transfer and development. Only through understanding the unique environmental demands of specific areas can we create technology of the utmost need. So far, 85 developing countries have completed a TNA, and 25 are undertaking one currently. TNA’s have been successful for a variety of environmental issues all over the world, specifically in South America, Africa, and Asia (UNFCCC). For example, in Mali, increased drought and limited rainy season has drained farmers’ water dams and eroded cultivable land. This problem was recognized and addressed by introducing field contouring, a process which helps prevent soil erosion and rainwater runoff. In Bhutan, population growth and migration to urban areas has put strain on public and private transportation and greatly increased air pollutants, noise pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions. This issue was addressed by their TNA by creating an Intelligent Transport System. This system will help increase the efficiency of public transportation and therefore help decrease greenhouse gas emissions (UNFCCC 2017).

Without new, advanced technologies, and a flexible system by which to develop them, climate change would be an impenetrable issue. However, through these organizations and their advancements, we are finding new ways to challenge climate change and its many related effects.


“What Is Technology Transfer to support climate action?” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Startpage, (accessed 8/29/17)

“Technology Mechanism” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2015 8/29/17)

“Technology Needs Assessments” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (accessed 8/29/17)

“Stories from the Technology Needs Assessments” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2017  (accessed 8/29/17)

This entry was posted in Risk and resilience. Bookmark the permalink.