Further Clarity on Technology Needs

About This Opportunity

A range of new and innovative technologies that support enhanced mitigation and adaptation ambition exist, and new ones are regularly developed. However, access to these technologies varies across different countries, with developing countries in particular often struggling to access the technologies required for ambitious climate action. In order to support the transfer of technologies from developed to developing countries; it is useful for developing countries to be specific about the technologies they require/are targeting in different sectors. As such, greater clarity on technology needs can support ambitious and implementable NDCs in several ways: 

  • Informed decision-making: By considering technology needs during the NDC development, countries can make more informed decisions about the types of technologies required to achieve their mitigation and adaptation goals. This clarity also enables governments to prioritize investments and understand where additional support is needed.
  • Facilitated technology transfer: Clear identification of technology needs in NDCs can facilitate support flows from developed to developing countries. Flows of support should be driven by country needs – international cooperation cannot occur unless country needs are clear. Greater clarity on needs, therefore, provides a basis for international cooperation and collaboration, allowing countries to access the necessary technologies, expertise, and financial resources to implement their climate actions.
  • Enhanced capacity-building: Understanding technology needs helps countries identify gaps in technical capacity and skills required for implementation of these technologies. This knowledge enables targeted capacity-building efforts, training programs, and knowledge-sharing initiatives to strengthen local capabilities and ensure effective technology uptake.
  • Promoting innovation and research: By signaling demand for specific technologies, NDCs can incentivize private sector investment and drive innovation in clean energy and sustainable technologies.
  • Improved monitoring and reporting: Clear explanations of technology needs in NDCs facilitate monitoring and reporting on technology-related progress.

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Undertaking a Technology Needs Assessment (TNA):

Countries are encouraged to undertake a TNA to provide more concrete and specific information on the technology needs required for meeting the ambitious targets of NDCs. This includes information on e.g., the scope of technology needs, types of technologies required, and installation targets. A series of guidebooks detailing technology options in different sectors is provided below under “Further resources”. Detailed guidance is also available on how to undertake a technology needs assessment, including TNA Step by Step, Technology Needs Assessment Handbook (UNDP), and topic-specific resources e.g. Guidance for a gender-responsive Technology Needs Assessment (UNEP DTU Partnership) and Identifying and prioritizing technologies for climate change adaptation (UNEP DTU Partnership). Engagement of sectoral stakeholders can support greater specificity; this point is elaborated in the section immediately below and in “Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society”.

Engaging key stakeholders to discuss needs:

Sectoral stakeholders will often have a good understanding of the technology needs, and potential limitations, for different mitigation options. This also includes the private sector, who can provide insights on the necessary investments in enabling technologies for example, that could then support the scale-up of lower carbon or more resilient industries. Engaging these stakeholders in technology needs assessments for NDCs can therefore ensure key technologies are defined clearly and specifically in the NDC. Guidance specific to stakeholder engagement for technology needs assessments is available (Identification and Engagement of Stakeholders in the TNA Process, UNEP DTU Partnership). General guidance on best practice for stakeholder engagement is provided in “Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society”. For example, awareness raising sessions could be utilized to help raise capacity across government and stakeholder groups on a key technical or procedural issue.

Country Examples

Pakistan’s TNA prioritizes a greater use of renewable energy sources to alleviate the local environmental and health impacts of unsustainable and inefficient traditional biomass fuels, as well as reduce GHG emissions. In 2020, jointly with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change developed the Promotion and Application of Sustainable Biomass Energy Technologies in Pakistan (PASBET) project. This project considers the potential for woody biomass in advancing Pakistan’s transition to renewable energy, while also being of productive use for agricultural wastes and finding synergies with the afforestation programs the country has been promoting. PASBET is funded by a USD3.5 million grant from the GEF and a total of USD24 million in co-financing from multiple ministerial bodies, government departments, UNDP, and the private sector. The project has been informed by the findings of Pakistan’s TNA and Technology Action Plans (TAP), which is a plan for the uptake and diffusion of key technologies. It will pave the way for emissions reductions and help Pakistan meet both its NDC targets and its socio-economic goals, such as providing enhanced access to energy for all its citizens. (Source: “Stories from the Technology Needs Assessments,” UNEPCCC).

Lebanon’s TNA was grounded on a robust process of stakeholder consultations. Given that the publication of its second TNA directly followed that of its Second National Communication report, Lebanon utilized the same institutional structure and stakeholder consultation processes for the TNA as were used previously for NC2. This ensured consistency, continuity, and complementarity between the two reports. Importantly, Lebanon ensured that the TNA process was country-driven, involving both high-level policymakers as well as technical experts, academia, and NGOs. This facilitated a “whole- of society” approach to the assessment and its validation. Key to their stakeholder consultation process for the TNA, was keeping stakeholders  informed and involved throughout the TNA process. This included expert consultations in the preparatory phase, as well as secondary expert workshops, individual meetings, official communications as necessary to facilitate greater engagement, and enhanced public visibility of the TNA process through presentations during conferences and seminars. As such, by utilizing many communication approaches, Lebanon was able to ensure that the stakeholder engagement process for its TNA was robust and meaningful. (Source: “Identification and Engagement of Stakeholders in the TNA Process,” UNEP DTU Partnership; “Lebanon Technology Needs Assessment for Climate Change,” Ministry of Environment/UNEP/GEF).

Further Resources

The following guidance and tools can provide further support for improving clarity on technology needs in NDCs.

Technology Needs Assessment Handbook (UNDP, 2009)
This handbook provides background to the TNA process and gives detailed guidance for organizing a national TNA process, along with the prioritization of sectors and technologies.

TNA Step by Step (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2019)
This guidebook is for countries conducting a TNA and Action Plan. It summarizes the various steps in the implementation of a TNA and also points out the various materials that are available to further guide and support project management and the methodology.

Guidance for a gender-responsive Technology Needs Assessment (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2018)
The guidance outlines a systematic process for countries to integrate gender considerations into their Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs), offering practical steps to address gender inequalities related to climate change adaptation and mitigation goals outlined in TNAs.

Enhancing Implementation Of Technology Needs Assessments (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2017)
The improved guidance for Technology Action Plan (TAP) preparation offers a systematic approach to tackle barriers and expedite the development, transfer, deployment, and dissemination of key technologies. It also outlines methods for addressing and bridging gaps in enabling frameworks and capacities, serving as a technology-responsive component of broader climate change strategies like NDCs and NAPs.

Policy brief on linkages between the technology needs assessment process and the nationally determined contribution process (UNFCCC, 2022)
The brief highlights the link between Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs) and NDCs. TNAs, launched in developing countries since 2001, prioritize technologies for mitigation and adaptation within national sustainable development frameworks.

Identifying and prioritizing technologies for climate change adaptation (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2015)
This guidance aims to assist consultants, decision-makers, and technical experts in facilitating discussions to prioritize adaptation technologies. It provides practical support in identifying criteria for analysis, offering a hands-on approach to multi-criteria analysis (MCA) and the assessment of relevant criteria.

The companion guidance on mitigation is described immediately below.

Identifying and prioritizing technologies for mitigation (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2015)
This guidance aids consultants, decision-makers, and technical experts in identifying and prioritizing mitigation technologies. It outlines the process of conducting a technology prioritization exercise through multicriteria analysis and assists stakeholders in identifying relevant criteria for the analysis.

The companion guidance on adaptation is described immediately above.

Identification and Engagement of Stakeholders in the TNA Process (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2015)
This guidance aims to help national TNA coordinators and the TNA team in participating countries to engage all relevant stakeholders throughout the TNA process. It takes national TNA coordinators and their team through the process of identification, consultation and engagement of all relevant stakeholders.

Indigenous Peoples and Climate Technologies (UNEP DTU Partnership/UNEP/GEF, 2021)
This guidance illustrates how indigenous peoples leverage their knowledge to develop solutions and technologies for combating climate change, benefiting broader society’s ability to adapt. Instead of providing a step-by-step guide for the TNA process, it aims to emphasize the significance of recognizing the contributions of indigenous peoples’ technologies in addressing climate challenges.

How This Links to Other Routes

Clarifying technology needs has some specific linkages to other Routes. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Aligned to the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal

Providing greater clarity on technology needs for climate change mitigation helps drive technology transfer to ensure the mitigation strategies are successfully implemented.

Route: Aligned to Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

Providing greater clarity on technology needs for adaptation helps drive technology transfer for successful implementation of adaptation strategies.

Route: Mobilizes All-Of-Government and All-Of-Society

Engaging sector stakeholders in the needs identification process is a particularly useful strategy, as they have a good understanding of technology needs, limitations, and challenges in their sectors.

Additional Opportunities

The following Opportunities are a non-exhaustive set of options for enhancing identification and support needs for NDC and wider climate change processes in countries.

Identification of financial needs is also highly relevant to this Route, but is discussed in greater detail under Route: Unlocks Finance.

Support Opportunities

Support is available to countries to apply the learning from the navigator and develop ambitious NDCs 3.0.

Share Additional Resources

Contribute new guidance, tools and strategies to be reflected in the NDC 3.0.