Technology transfer was a key component at the Paris COP 21 in December of last year. It was one of the main criteria required by developing and least developed countries to agree to the Paris Agreement. With the Paris Agreement now entering into force, with the required number of signatories representing 55% of global emissions a week before this year’s COP in Marrakesh, how was technology represented at the event?

On the 23rd of November 2016, the Marrakech Climate Conference ended with the issuance of the ‘Marrakech Action Proclamation for our Climate and Sustainable Development’, the document calls for a greater volume, flow and access to “improved capacity and technology, including from developed and developing countries”, advancing work on the elements of capacity building and technology transfer and development from the mandates agreed upon in the Paris Agreement and the Convention.

The two-week conference proved to be fruitful in the areas of capacity building and technology development and transfer. The conference also included the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention; enhancing climate technology development and transfer within the Technology Mechanism; and the linkages between the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and the Technology Mechanism. Accompanied by the operationalization of the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency trust fund, hosted by the Global Environment Facility.

Marrakech saw the launch of the National Determined Contribution  partnerships, in which industrialised countries intend to help developing countries realise their climate contributions. Which will become more important as 47 particularly hard-hit countries, mostly members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, announced their intention to transition to 100 % renewable energy as soon as possible, 2050 at the latest.

Most notably Canada, Denmark, the EU, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland and the US pledged over $23 million USD to support technology transfer in developing countries through Climate Technology Centre and Network of which EHA is a network partner since 2014.

However, this is not to say that climate finance was not one of the most controversial issues in Marrakech. In 2009, industrialised countries pledged $100 billion annually by 2020 in assistance to developing countries. In Paris, this responsibility has reduced the responsibility of industrialised countries, instead all parties were invited to contribute to the financial commitment. This year’s meeting was in many ways the litmus test for how serious countries would be in meeting their financial obligations specifically concerning adaptation. The continuation of the Adaptation Fund post-2020 was one of the main achievements, as it was added into the Paris Agreement.

The commitment of developed countries to endorse a long-term climate financing roadmap proved to be very weak and largely insufficient to cover the needs of the most disadvantaged countries. Developed countries also pledged to double their contribution to the Green Climate Fund from 10 to 20 billion USD. But this still represents only 20% of the 100 billion envisioned for both mitigation and adaptation.

Then again announcements of bottom up movements flourished in Marrakech: the EU Commission announced the launch of the regional office of its Coveant of Mayors in North America and the intention to extend the CoM scope to South America, China, South-East Asia, India and Japan. The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) an  African-led and African-owned regional initiative, which aims to scale up the deployment and funding of renewable energy projects in Africa, boost intra-regional and international cooperation, ensure access to electricity for the marginalized population and contribute to sustainable development,  sets ambitious goals for the period up to 2030 – to achieve at least 10 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2020 and generate additional 300 GW by 2030 by funding primarily small-scale and community-led renewable energy projects.