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Technology: Enabling the Full, Effective and Sustained Implementation of the Convention through Long-Term Cooperative Action Now, up to and Beyond 2012

Harlan Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative and Head of United States Delegation
Remarks to Contact Group of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention on Agenda Item 3
Bonn, Germany
June 7, 2008

Mr. Chairman, as we have often stated, technology will play a critical role in addressing climate change.

During this week’s workshop on technology, we noted that the changing patterns of economic and emissions growth and distribution among Parties signal that we are in a different world today from that when the Framework Convention began negotiations in early 1991. It is time to move away from the old business-as-usual donor-based paradigm of access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) toward a more self-sustaining process where developing country enabling environments and private capital markets play an increasing and eventually dominant role. We need to work together to promote a process that is effective, practical, affordable and sustainable.

During the workshop, a number of Parties called for the establishment of a further new mechanism or mechanisms under the Convention to scale up the level of technology development and transfer. Given the magnitude and significant resource requirements of developing country technology needs, we caution that the practicalities and sustainability of such an approach must be carefully assessed.

Instead, as noted in your summary of the workshop, Mr. Chairman, we feel a more constructive approach in the near-term is to provide improved access to existing and emerging sources of financing for technology development. As we suggested in our workshop presentation, this improved access can be fostered through a concrete set of actions by both the UNFCCC and Parties that is supported by targeted capacity building and associated technical assistance on an as-needed basis to help position developing countries to better adopt, operate, maintain, and diffuse ESTs.

In parallel with these efforts to improve access to existing and emerging resources for technology development and transfer, we would work with other Parties to structure an effective and equitable approach that takes into consideration their evolving circumstances over time so that the level of assistance is commensurate with needs and capabilities of recipient Parties.

With respect to areas of future focus, we would support those outlined in your summary, Mr. Chairman, within the context of our comments here concerning the need for Parties to enhance their enabling environments, targeted capacity building, and the engagement of the domestic and foreign finance and businesses communities.



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