Making smart climate solutions achievable for everyone

Friday October 9, 2015 13:30

The development of new technologies is progressing fast. Smart solutions for fighting climate change are constantly being devised, mainly in rich, Western countries. ECN works through the United Nations' Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) to also apply these solutions in poorer countries. “Dutch technology is crossing the border.”

In the UN Climate Treaty, 192 countries made agreements concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The objective was to prevent the undesirable consequences of climate change. “A beautiful initiative, but the agreements have been implemented in various ways that differ greatly from each other. Good results often depend on money and knowledge,” says Donald Pols, International Climate Policy Manager at ECN. The CTCN was founded to make smart climate solutions also achievable for poorer countries. ECN is one of the 11 partners that offer concrete support.

Manageable projects
CTCN's partners translate vague climate agreements into detailed plans. Pols explains: “Here is an example: the Government of Rwanda sees opportunities in solar technology, but the inhabitants do not have enough money to invest in solar panels themselves. ECN is currently working on a policy plan for selling light hours. This is similar to buying minutes of calling time from a telephone provider. We are also working on a plan for Iran to successfully integrate combined heat and power into the built environment. What is required to really make a difference? Which international parties do you need for the best technological solution and how do you spend your budget in a smart way?”

Technology and economy
As of 2020, $100 billion will be deposited each year into a climate fund for helping poor countries with climate projects. Pols says: “This is a serious amount of money and we need to use it for the right things. Through CTCN, we show that smart technological solutions make a significant contribution to solving climate problems and lead to sector-wide changes. These examples will allow future climate negotiations to be more concrete.”

Involving the Dutch business community
Involving the Dutch business community is part of ECN's motivation for being a partner of the CTCN. According to Pols: “There is a great deal of knowledge in the Netherlands that can be used commercially to solve international climate problems. As a partner, we are given the opportunity to introduce our network. I hope the Dutch government will take a more active role as a National Designated Entity (NDE). This will allow us to further influence the development of CTCN and give the Dutch business community a greater role.”

Would you like to know more about ECN's role in the international climate talks? Please contact Donald Pols, who will be happy to talk with you.

Category: Oktober