Ms. Orly Jacob from Canada has become the new Chair of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) Advisory Board. The Board rotates leadership each year between developing and developed countries. Mr. Ping Zhong from China was elected Vice-Chair. Ms. Jacob serves as Manager of International Energy and Environment Policy at Natural Resources Canada.
The CTCN interviews Ms. Jacob about her vision for the Climate Technology Centre and Network.
What role does the CTCN have in implementing the new Technology Framework?
The CTCN is critical to the implementation of the new United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Framework. The Centre has staff and network members on the ground around the world, which is necessary for ensuring that technology support truly meets local needs and circumstances. The local expertise and relationships that the CTCN has developed allow for the translation of the strategic objectives of the Conference of Parties/UNFCCC into impactful work on the ground.
The CTCN also spends much of its efforts focused on upstream work to help countries create the enabling environments (policy and regulatory) required to attract and secure much needed investment in clean technologies. This is a key component to achieving the goals of the Technology Framework.
What is the most important aspect of the CTCN?
This is a difficult question. The various elements of the CTCN all work together to make it what it is. I would say the one element that is the foundation for all its work is its commitment to working with developing countries as partners. Beginning with its country-driven mandate, the CTCN recognizes that success depends on the ability to listen to countries, understand the needs, and work with them to shape and refine the most appropriate services and solutions.
CTCN’s efforts to encourage partnerships with local businesses as part of the international bidding process is also incredibly important. This means that once the project is finished, there is local capacity and expertise that stays in place.
How can technologies help countries in implementing the Paris Agreement?
Paris Agreement commitments cannot be achieved without the help of technologies for mitigation and adaptation. The transfer of proven technologies can help developing countries leapfrog older, more polluting approaches, while indigenous knowledge and national technology innovation can position developing countries to create their own paths forward and grow local capacity and economies.
It is important to recognize that access to technologies is not sufficient on its own. This is why the CTCN’s services in providing capacity building and skills development is an important part of ensuring technology benefits are maximized.
What is your vision for the Climate Technology Centre and Network over the next year?
My vision is for greater exposure in the multilateral world outside the UN community. The Centre has a lot to offer that could augment and complement various global clean technology efforts. Greater engagement and visibility across various stakeholder communities will also support the CTCN in its important objective of diversifying its funding base to include, in particular, private sector and philanthropic sources.
What would you like to stay the same and see the CTCN do differently (if anything)?
The CTCN’s success in meeting the needs of its client countries is a testament that it is doing a lot right. One area where it can take stock and identify opportunities is related to the network. The CTCN has succeeded in attracting a large and diverse network of experts, and as this network grows, there is greater incentive to put in place tools that would enable its members to build a community that supports greater engagement amongst themselves. This could lead to new and innovative partnerships and activities that go beyond the CTCN project pipeline.