Increasing Technology Uptake

About This Opportunity

Increasing technology uptake is important for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement for several reasons. Technology plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to low-carbon and renewable energy sources. By adopting and deploying clean and sustainable technologies, and facilitating the knowledge and skills to support these, countries can accelerate the mitigation efforts of their NDCs. It can also support adaptation efforts by enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change. Innovative technologies in areas such as water management, agriculture, and infrastructure can help communities adapt to changing climate conditions, reduce vulnerabilities, and build climate resilience. Ensuring the NDC is underpinned by plans to increase uptake and diffusion of technologies identified (see “Opportunity: Further Clarity on Technology Needs”) facilitates the realization of these benefits.

Many clean and renewable energy technologies have become increasingly cost-competitive in recent years, facilitating cost-effective implementation. The IPCC’s AR6 WGIII report highlights that by investing in these technologies, countries can not only reduce their greenhouse gas emissions but also achieve cost savings in the long run, particularly as the costs of renewable energy and other technologies continue to decline. Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) policies can play an important role to enhance technology uptake through investment incentives, public funding for research, collaborative partnerships, supportive regulatory frameworks, technology demonstration projects, capacity-building, and international collaboration. Increasing the uptake of technology in developing countries also supports capacity-building (further explored in ”Opportunity: Identifying Capacity-Building and Technical Assistance Needs”), transfer of knowledge, and a reduced technology gap between developed and developing countries. Through technology transfer and cooperation, developing countries can gain access to the latest technologies and expertise to address climate change effectively. Country investment in clean energy and sustainable technologies is important to stimulating innovation and economic growth, and can contribute to a Just and Equitable Transition by supporting the upskilling and reskilling of the working population towards greener jobs. Adopting new, greener technologies can support economic diversification, create green jobs, and unlock new business opportunities in emerging sectors.

For a country to strategically increase the uptake of technology, and realize the benefits discussed above, it may consider developing Technology Action Plans (TAPs) following their Technology Needs Assessment (TNA – see ”Opportunity: Identifying Capacity-Building and Technical Assistance Needs”). TAPs are concise plans for development, transfer, deployment and diffusion of priority technologies within a country at a scale to inform the development and implementation of their NDCs, LT-LEDS, and any other associated plans/strategies (e.g. NAPs, sector plans, etc.).

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Closely link the development of TAPs with national strategies and plans, in particular the NDC:

Having used the TNA process to identify a country’s technology needs, the development of TAPs facilitates the uptake of technology by prioritizing the technologies needed on a sector-by-sector basis. TAPs should be driven by a country’s sectoral demands, and accommodate any market barriers and enablers in their design. Most TAPs are aimed at the deployment and diffusion (i.e., throughout society) of these priority technologies at a national scale. Some that are developed for several or individual technologies, include cost estimates for their diffusion and uptake, as well as anticipated capacity-building   elements that will be achieved through the uptake of these technologies. The UNFCCC have produced a review of “Implementation Of Technology Action Plans Of Developing Countries” which includes information on common challenges of TAP implementation, and some lessons learnt.

Including specific information on enabling policies, legal and regulatory environments in the development of TAPs that link to the NDC:

Governments play a major role in facilitating the effective procurement and deployment of technologies, and can use a variety of policy approaches. For instance, in the case of incentivizing the uptake of renewable energy technologies, commonly used policy measures include financial measures such as production incentives (e.g. subsidy per produced kWh electricity), standard power purchase agreements (e.g. Feed-in-Tariffs), green marketing methods (e.g. a premium tariff on ‘green’ electricity), as well as other financial instruments such as subsidies and loans (see also ”Route: Unlocks Finance”). Non-financial measures include market liberalization (e.g. by allowing competitors to the incumbent fossil-based monopoly), improvements in infrastructure and grid access, the development of obligations to generate or purchase ‘green’ electricity, as well as softer approaches including involving civil society in and government-assisted business development (e.g. by public-private partnership) in the deployment of renewable energy technologies. Useful guidance is available from the GEF and UNEP on “Overcoming Barriers to the Transfer and Diffusion of Climate Technologies” (GEF/UNEP).

Country Examples

Chile sought technical assistance from the CTCN to accelerate the uptake of climate technologies in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the agrifood sector. By seeking this assistance, Chile aimed to understand key barriers to the adoption of climate technologies in the sector, analyze agrifood chains to identify key areas for technology introduction, and assess and improve existing policy instruments’ effectiveness in promoting climate technologies. This process allowed for the mapping of the agrifood sector and the chains within it, to identify key investment opportunities for the adoption of climate technologies. This process emphasized those technologies with the greatest potential for GHG mitigation as well as the most critical climate adaptation benefits for MSMEs.  Climate technologies identified included energy efficiency measures, drip irrigation, and solar energy for power generation. Ultimately, this process allowed for the uptake of photovoltaic solar energy solutions and increased energy and water efficiency within the sector, not only through the integration of the technical assistance findings within Chile’s CPAs in the agrifood sector, but also through public budget lines, and the inclusion of information in technological barriers in project application guidelines and funding procedures.

This case study was taken from a UNFCCC report which provides a number of useful case studies on technology uptake in developing countries including Uruguay, India, South Africa, the Solomon Islands, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, and Nauru. (Source: “Technology and Nationally Determined Contributions: Stimulating the Uptake of Technologies In Support Of Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation,” UNFCCC).

Bangladesh utilized information dissemination and capacity-building as a vehicle to facilitate the uptake of climate technologies in the agriculture sector through the Plantwise program. The project looks to minimize crop losses, increase food security, and alleviate poverty in farming communities through the establishment of a global plant clinic network, which allows farmers to access practical solutions to increase crop health. The program included a series of stakeholder workshops and capacity-building initiatives, including focus group discussions, one-on-one interviews, and surveys to gather and disseminate information. Importantly, the availability of female doctors at plant clinics also greatly increased female farmer participation.  Moreover, the plant clinics are designed to build on traditional knowledge and farming practices rather than imposing new techniques, thereby fostering greater participation and widespread acceptance within farming communities. These plant clinics are also reinforced by the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, which is an online repository of information on plant health, including best practices for pest management. Through innovative approaches to stakeholder engagement and empowerment, the Plantwise program has thus led to the uptake of more efficient and resilient farm management practices in 10 districts in Bangladesh. (Source: “Innovative Approaches To Accelerating And Scaling Up Climate Technology Implementation For Mitigation And Adaptation,” UNFCCC).

Further Resources

The following guidance and tools can provide further support for increasing technology uptake related to NDCs.

Innovative Approaches to Accelerating and Scaling Up Climate Technology Implementation for Mitigation and Adaptation (UNFCCC, 2020)
This paper, published by the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee, explores innovative approaches to stimulating the uptake of existing climate technologies for mitigation and adaptation. It presents examples of innovation approaches that countries could use to identify where and how market systems for enabling technology uptake can be improved, including ways to attract funding for prioritized climate technology and policies.

Overcoming Barriers to the Transfer and Diffusion of Climate Technologies (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2015)
This guidebook provides practical and operational guidance on how to assess the barriers to identified technologies in the countries concerned, and how to address and overcome these barriers through different types of measures.

Evaluating Measures For Inclusion In A Technology Action Plan (UNEP DTU Partnership, 2017)
This guidance is focused on analyzing and comparing various measures identified in the barrier analysis, to identify measures that go into the TAPs as actions. It is written with simple examples to give consultants and practitioners an overview of a way to assess and compare measures.

Technologies for Climate Change Adaptation – Coastal Erosion and Flooding (University of Southampton/UNEP, 2010)
This publication aims to support good adaptation planning for coastal areas. It covers thirteen major adaptation technologies that reduce impacts of coastal erosion and flooding due to climate change. For each, the technology is described, advantages and disadvantages assessed, costs and benefits estimated, institutional or organizational requirements outlined, and detailed examples provided that illustrate how the technology can be applied.

Technologies for Climate Change Adaptation – Water Sector (UNFCCC, 2014)
This policy brief, developed for policy makers in national and local levels of government, draws upon existing examples of water technologies to highlight lessons learned and provide recommendations for policy, while bearing in mind the principles for effective adaptation.

Technologies for Climate Change Adaptation – Agriculture Sector (UNEP, 2012)
This guidebook provides information on 22 technologies and options for adapting to climate change in the agriculture sector. It describes what policy makers, development planners, agriculture experts and other stakeholders in countries can consider while determining a technology development path in agriculture. NGOs, rural communities and agricultural practitioners could examine and include appropriate options in their portfolios of technologies and options for agriculture. The guidebook is expected to stimulate further work on identifying options for climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector in different parts of the world.

Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation – Agriculture Sector (UNEP, 2011)
This guidebook describes crop and livestock management technologies and practices that contribute to climate change mitigation while improving crop productivity, reducing reliance on synthetic fertilizers, and lowering water consumption.

Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation – Transport Sector (UNEP, 2011)
This guidebook sets out a broad range of transport options (including rural, urban, motorized and non-motorized transportation) and a wide variety of applicable emissions-reducing policies and measures are explored. The guidebook proposes cycling and mass transit approaches, as well as ideas for improving motorized transport technologies. Newer developments, like high-density, mixed-use schemes built around rail nodes, or rapid bus service are also examined in detail.

Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation – Building Sector (UNEP, 2012)
This guidebook offers a detailed description of mitigation technologies and practices in the building sector. It aims to provide necessary technical knowledge and information for countries to carry out Technology Needs Assessments and develop Technology Action Plans that support climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

Although many of the technologies and approaches included in the guide remain relevant, some recent technologies are not considered.

Climate Technologies in an Urban Context (UNEP, 2021)
This document outlines the options that local governments can use to manage climate change. It considers climate technologies in an urban context, covering both mitigation and adaptation actions, and makes recommendations that are applicable in most contexts, with well-established effectiveness.

How This Links to Other Routes

Increasing technology update has some specific linkages to other Routes. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Aligned to the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal

Increasing technology uptake supports implementation of mitigation actions, and ultimately furthers the achievement of mitigation targets.

Route: Aligned to Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

Increasing technology uptake supports implementation of adaptation actions, and ultimately furthers the achievement of adaptation goals.

Route: Delivers a Just and Equitable Transition

Increasing technology uptake provides opportunities to ensure a Just and Equitable Transition, for example through reskilling/upskilling of the workforce towards new green jobs, improved infrastructure for citizens, etc.

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.